Archive for August 2014

Water As One of Your Fitness Nutrition Strategies

The right nutrition is the cornerstone of health and fitness and water plays a major role in your fitness nutrition plan.

Water plays a pivotal role in all aspects of the metabolic process. So much so, that without it you would survive for only a few days.

water

As you probably know already, the body is made up of more than 60% water and this level must be maintained for optimal health.

It can be difficult to do because we are losing water continually via urination, respiration and by sweating. To avoid dehydration, water reserves must be constantly topped up by drinking at least 8 cups of water each day.

But when you exercise you need to drink even more because of the additional sweating. The amount lost depends on the type of exercise, your bodyweight and the surrounding temperature but you can easily lose 2 pints or more for each hour of exercise and this must be replaced.

The Signs of Dehydration

There are a number of signs for dehydration and you should watch out for these. Dark colored urine, with a strong odor, is one of the easiest signs to spot.

But there are many other warning signs like a dry throat and mouth, dry cough, dizziness, exhaustion and even loss of appetite. The signs of severe dehydration are even more dramatic and include pain when urinating, muscle cramps and spasms, headaches, nausea and even delirium.

The Best Time To Drink

Drinking the right amount of water at regular intervals throughout the day will keep the body hydrated and functioning properly. In preparation for exercise, it is recommended that you drink 2 cups of water about two hours before your session.

Then immediately before you exercise, drink a cup of water and during each hour of your session sip between 2 to 3 cups.

After the session you also need to drink more water to replace the fluid lost through sweat.

To really make sure you’re on target, weigh yourself before exercise and again when you have finished. Work out how many pounds you have lost and you will need to drink one pint of water for each pound.

Are Special Energy Drinks Not Better Than Water When I Am Exercising?

Sports drinks and energy drinks contain a mix of carbohydrates and electrolytes (minerals) dissolved in water.

They tend to have fruity flavors and are pleasant to drink. When you exercise for longer periods (more than an hour) then sports drinks can be beneficial because the carbohydrate in them provides the body with readily available energy to boost performance.

But for shorter periods of exercise there is no real benefit over plain water, despite the claims to the contrary of the drinks’ manufacturers.