Why drinking water is important during exercise

Written by William Fryer - MA Oxon

A lot of gym enthusiasts and people who exercise in any way whether it is running, walking, through sport at many different levels don't realise how essential it is to keep your body hydrated.

As we exercise we sweat which in regular terms means we lose water through exercise. We are as human beings made up of nearly 66% water and this fact sometimes can be lost. Water is what our body needs to live, without it we cease to live within a few days to a week. When we exercise this need for this precious element increases tenfold as we are increasing our need to rehydrate.

From a scientific point of view the human body relies heavily on water in order to complete vital body functions such as controlling of your temperature, helping your metabolism and ensuring good general blood circulation. Dehydration can cause very adverse effects to someone be they physical or mental ailments, which if you are exercising physically, can be very dangerous and can cause injury. Dehydration often comes on very fast and hits a person suddenly. If you are feeling tired, dizzy, hungry or have a lack of energy, these can all be signs that you are not drinking enough water and certainly should not be exercising if you are feeling any of these effects. Water is also great for exercise as it has zero calories and a lot of people working out look to lose weight as part of their exercise regime.

Here are some useful tips on how to stay hydrated during exercise:

  • Pre-hydrate. If you are exercising in the morning, afternoon or evening it is good practice to have some water maybe 3-4 hours before your work out, that way by the time you are exercising you will be nicely hydrated and feel good before you start your workout.

  • Avoid caffeine. Caffeine comes in a lot of everyday forms that people rely on like coffee and energy drinks. It also can contain many calories depending on what it is in and is best avoided during exercise.

  • They say for every pound you lose during exercise, it is best to drink at least three glasses of water to rehydrate.

  • Always consult with a registered doctor before you undertake any new intense exercise regimes. When speaking to your doctor also ask for advice on hydration that is tailored to you, (e.g. your weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, etc).

  • Invest in a good quality water distiller. Water distillers are vital to get 100% pure water and when you are drinking water that has come from a good distiller, whether it is before, during or after exercise, you will feel much better and over time should help you with your exercise targets.