There’s an old saying that goes: “Working out without water is like road tripping with no gas.”
Well, OK, we made that up, but it should be a mantra for all guys who like to sweat. Even if you’re fastidious about sipping on h2o while you’re actually in the gym, you need to be drinkin’ up before you lace up your runners, and replenishing long after your BPM returns to rest rate. Here’s why…
Hydration determines your performance
If you rock up to Crossfit jacked up only on a couple of espressos, chances are you won't be beating your PB. You need to be drinking water before you work out, says a study in Sports Medicine, which found that dehydration can zap your strength (by two percent), power (by three percent) and high-intensity endurance (by 10 percent) during a workout. As a rule of thumb, drink a 250ml glass of water 30 minutes before you hit the gym (more is totally OK too) to ensure your muscles are firing on all cylinders.
Water is the ultimate workout buddy
You may be seduced by the fancy sell of electrolyte-rich sports drinks or protein shakes while lifting but the truth is, good old h2o is what your body actually needs. Your body is made up of over 50 percent water, it’s the main constituent of your tissues, cells and organs and helps to regulate your temperature and circulation. While it’s normal to experience mild dehydration during your workout, drinking enough fluids (just sip when you get thirsty here) helps minimise the drop in blood volume and flow to muscles that occurs when you’re dehydrated. And you don’t need to be sprinting to the bubbler between every set – keep water accessible (and super chilled) in a Thermos® Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Hydration Bottle. Keeping water cold is important as studies have found that drinking cold water can significantly delay and reduce the increase in core body temperature during exercise, and increase athletic endurance.
Replenishing = a faster recovery
The sesh is over, your face is a fire engine and you’ve sweated like POTUS doing a six-piece jigsaw. During an intense workout, you'll sweat out anywhere from one to four per cent of your body weight every hour, so you need to rehydrate to compensate for the loss, to bring your heart rate down and to regulate your body temperature. During recovery you continue to lose fluids through sweating and urination, so plan to replace this (especially if there are celebratory beers involved). Don’t sweat the details too much on the exact amount of water you need to replace, general guidelines are 250ml water within 30 minutes after exercising.