Exercise causes the core body temperature to increase, and we sweat to help regulate our body temperature. Dehydration occurs when body temperature remains elevated and the body is unable to cool-off. This can cause dizziness, muscle fatigue, headaches and muscle cramps, among other symptoms.
- How can you tell if your body is well-hydrated? If your urine is pale, and you require a restroom break at least six times a day, you are probably doing a good job.
- If you are an early morning exerciser, keep in mind that your body is already in a somewhat dehydrated state when you wake up. Be sure to drink at least eight ounces of water before you begin your workout.
- For a moderate hour-long workout, you should consume four to six ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise. If your taste buds need a change of pace every so often, seek out low-calorie sports drink or sugar-free flavored water options, or maybe add a slice of lemon or lime to your water bottle.
- If you exercise for longer than 60 minutes at a high intensity, or you workout in extreme conditions, consider using a sports drink during and after your workout to replenish your body with the fluid, nutrients and electrolytes it requires. There is a true science behind fluid replacement during exercise and sports drinks are formulated to meet the needs of athletes.
- Beware of energy drinks. Popular energy drinks are very different from sports drinks. They are full of caffeine and sugar, and can be dehydrating instead of thirst-quenching.