Hydration is important for workouts, but knowing when to drink water has its benefits.
In this article:
- What Should I Drink Before a Workout?
- When Should I Drink Before a Workout?
- What Should I Drink During a Workout?
- When Can I Drink Water During a Workout?
- How Long Should I Wait to Drink After a Workout?
- What Should I Drink After a Workout?
- Why Should I Drink Water Every Time I Work Out?
- Where Can I Go Wrong?
Drink Water Before, During, or After a Workout?
What Should I Drink Before a Workout?
The body needs to be physically prepared before starting a workout, hydration included.
Water is ideal for hydration when working out, as it replaces water the body loses in strenuous activities. Switching things up with a sports drink or juice before a workout every now and then is fine.
When Should I Drink Before a Workout?
Drink 16-20 ounces of water four hours prior to starting an exercise. 15 minutes before the actual work out, drink another 8-12 ounces of water.
Drinking water four hours before a session gives the body enough time to properly process it for hydration. A light drink 15 minutes before a workout also prevents the feeling of being parched right off the bat.
Taking in way too much liquid right before working out can make one feel bloated and uncomfortable, as all that liquid will moving around in the stomach during a workout.
What Should I Drink During a Workout?
Despite other suitable substitutes like sports drinks and coconut water among others, water is the best thing anyone can drink during a workout.
The body is made up of mostly water, so exercise causes the body to lose a considerable amount of fluids. This could be through sweat, urine, and even spit as in the case of some long-distance runners.
Drinking water helps the joints and tissues function better by keeping them lubricated and energized. It also helps the body regulate temperature and transport nutrients efficiently.
When Can I Drink Water During a Workout?
Each person has different hydration needs that may vary per workout. Frequently going off to get a drink can affect one’s momentum and stall one’s progress.
A lot of gym-goers drink water as a delaying tactic to buy resting periods. Serious athletes, on the other hand, have the discipline to take just a few sips at certain intervals.
For example, if one set is punctuated with a 3 to 5-minute window, then this is the best time to take a few sips of water.
As far as the amount of intake is concerned, a good practice is to record body weight before and after every workout. The difference is the estimated volume of liquid one should drink to stay hydrated during a session.
For every pound lost during training, drink 16 ounces of water. Be strict and take brisk sips.
Do not guzzle the entire contents of the water bottle all at once. It may be tempting, but the point is only to hydrate and not satiate.
How Long Should I Wait to Drink After a Workout?
After any workout, be sure to drink within the 30-minute anabolic window right after the session finishes. This ensures the body is in the right condition to take in more hydration and nutrients for a quicker and more optimal recovery.
Anabolic Window Definition: The 30-minute period (give or take) after a workout where protein and carbohydrate intake can help in the increase of muscle mass.
What Should I Drink After a Workout?
A good workout not only focuses on what is expended but also by what is recovered. Without proper recovery, there is no real progress.
After a workout, the body needs to recover lost nutrients like protein, electrolytes, and carbohydrates.
Though water is still the best choice to drink after a session, juices, smoothies, and protein shakes are also great occasional alternatives.
Fresh fruit and vegetable juices contain natural sugars, vitamins, carbs, electrolytes, and amino acids that aid in post-workout muscle recovery.
Healthy smoothies, most especially the ones that use yogurt and fruit, are also great post-workout beverages besides water.
The fruit component restores glycogen and replaces lost carbs. Fruits like bananas are high in potassium that helps prevent cramps, while yogurt has fats and protein that help repair muscles and reduce swelling.
Protein shakes are also a popular post-workout drink. Its protein content help stimulates muscle growth.
Why Should I Drink Water Every Time I Work Out?
Despite the obvious importance of water, many gym-goers still neglect to bring water to the gym. This often results in poor workout performance, headaches, exhaustion, and fatigue, among others.
A single hour of exercise already spends about a quarter of the body’s water content. The more dehydrated the body gets, the more prone it is to fatigue and muscle cramps.
Lean muscle mass is composed of about 75% water, so keeping them hydrated could boost strength, energy, and power.
Sports drinks may taste better, but water is all a person needs to get the necessary fluids to engage in physically strenuous activities. It is the single most important manner in which the body distributes energy and nutrients.
Where Can I Go Wrong?
Overindulging in water could lead to hyponatremia, a condition of very low sodium levels in the blood. Hyponatremia often causes vomiting, nausea, confusion, fatigue, and in worst cases, even death.
It helps to occasionally supplement water with other fluids such as fruit and veggie juices, sports drinks, or protein shakes. Not only do these satiate thirst but they also help resupply the body with nutrients lost during a workout.
Working out how much water to drink is not rocket science. A 2-liter bottle of water that is marked and measured should be more than enough for a single session.
Check out these health benefits on drinking water from Healthveins Organic:
The importance of water during exercise should never be taken lightly. Water is a necessary and vital ingredient that helps one reach peak performance levels at the gym.
What is your go-to pre, during, and post-workout drink? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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