Hydrating before, during, and after a workout session is quite a daunting task these days, mostly because athletes and people who like being in shape usually forget to drink enough water. Even worse, sometimes they consume energy and sports drinks that are carbonated and albeit packed with all sorts of electrolytes, don’t necessarily do anything useful in terms of hydration. Most of these drinks have a high content in preservatives and sugar.
Before a race, a training workout, or a run, you should drink as much water as possible and consume a bit of veggie juice, as well, if you have the time or availability. In the morning of the competition or event, it might be a good idea to drink two to three cups of water around two hours before joining the race. I’m giving you this piece of advice because it takes about two hours for your body to process the fluid, therefore creating the need to go to the bathroom. What this means is that you’ll be able to empty your bladder prior to the event and won’t feel uncomfortable while you’re running or training.
You ought to drink about five to ten oz. of water right before your workout session to maintain proper hydration. As for the amount you have to consume while you’re exercising, it all really depends on your weight and personal needs. Not everyone has to consume ten glasses of water per day, so it stands to reason that these amounts that I’m mentioning here have to be adjusted depending on your physical attributes.
After a workout, it’s extremely important to determine the quantity of fluid that you have lost while exercising. This can help you somehow determine the amount of water that you need to drink once again. You don’t need to overhydrate, just follow your guts. If you feel like you can’t drink any more, just stop. Monitoring the color of your urine is a good idea to tell if you’re properly hydrated or you need to drink some more water. As a general rule, your pee shouldn’t be orange or transparent; instead, it needs to be a very pale yellow.
As I was saying at the beginning of the article, you should try to stay away from overly processed juices and drinks. Try to make your own fruit and veggie juice and be sure to enjoy a cup of 1% milk or soy or almond milk if you’re a vegan. All of these liquids contain the right amount of electrolytes that you might require, so there’s really no need to add anything artificial like Gatorade.
Furthermore, some foods are packed with water whereas others are more concentrated. For example, watermelon, cucumber, zucchini, and tomatoes are all rich in water content, so you might have to consume them as often as possible if hydration seems to be a problem for you.