November 15, 2022 6 min read
Proper hydration is essential for all, but if you work out to achieve your fitness goals dehydration and electrolyte imbalances could jeopardize your chances of ever accomplishing those goals.
Although dehydration and insufficient electrolytes are not the same, the lack of electrolytes can cause dehydration.
It can compromise the human body's ability to produce protein, which will prevent optimal muscle growth. So, if you fail to keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after gym sessions or other workouts, all the hours of engaging in physical activities could be nothing but a waste of time and effort with limited gains.
Maintaining proper electrolyte levels is a vital part of maximizing your hours of hard work in the gym. At the same time, you may ward off irregular muscle contractions, spasms, and cramps.
So, how do you go about keeping adequate electrolyte levels? One of the best ways of maximizing your hydration is to take electrolyte drinks like HyperAde replenishment.
Electrolytes are certain minerals that carry electric charges. The primary electrolytes in your body are sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphate, chloride, calcium, bicarbonate, and sulfate. These minerals dissolve in water, but their most significant attribute related to organic life is that they can be electrically charged, which is why they play key roles in several bodily processes.
Electrolytes are involved in neuron communication, nerve functions, muscle contractions, nutrient transfer into and out of cells, and blood pressure regulation.
There is no doubt about the impact these functions have on your athletic performance. That is why you might want to stack the odds in your favor by preloading with electrolytes before important tough exercise sessions.
Depending on your choice of sports drink, it could delay fatigue and prevent muscle cramps. Depriving yourself of proper hydration can significantly hamper your athletic performance, especially if you’re scheduled for a serious cardio workout.
Researchers say the lack of proper hydration reduces workout strength, power, and, most severely, high-intensity endurance.
In this article, we will discuss the value of loading electrolytes before, during, and after workouts, and also how the workout locale can affect your hydration level.
We know that drinking water when we work out is important. However, getting the timing right is crucial. Your aim should be to get yourself fully hydrated and loaded with electrolytes before your heart is taxed to keep up with the extra load.
Sports nutritionists recommend beginning the hydration process at least an hour before starting a workout because it takes time to get the fluids to all the body parts needing hydration. Pre-workout electrolyte and amino acid supplementation can prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness.
Knowing how much to drink to prepare your body for the hard work will likely take some experimentation. It will depend on several factors like your muscle mass and your size.
As you progress through your workout, you might want to top up your fluids to prevent dehydration. However, don’t overdo it. Don’t gulp down fluids as you see joggers do in the adverts. Taking sips of water or a sports drink throughout would be better. Nevertheless, judge your need by the circumstances and your condition.
If you’re involved in a hardcore workout in super-hot surroundings, you’ll likely need more fluids than usual, and also if your exercise routine lasts longer than 60 minutes.
In contrast, you might need fewer fluids when working out in colder conditions.
Drinking about 5 ounces of water every 20 minutes or so is an acceptable average but the more you sweat, the more your electrolyte loss would be. So, if the sweat is dripping off you, it would be a sign that you could expect cramping or muscle spasms if you don’t top up your electrolyte levels while you’re working out.
The trick is not to wait until you feel thirsty because thirst is an indication of dehydration being well on the way. Although you won’t be in danger yet, your performance will be compromised, as also the benefits gained from your workout.
For optimal performance, you might want to take sips of water throughout your exercise routine,
Getting back to gulping huge amounts of water, there are times when you might want to limit your fluid intake. One example is just before doing high reps of burpees. Some people might become nauseous or suffer reflux, requiring strategic planning for water breaks.
Did you know that weighing yourself before and after a workout can tell you how much fluid you lost? The recommended post-exercise fluid intake is 16 ounces for every pound of weight lost during the workout session.
This doesn’t mean you should weigh yourself before and after each session at the gym, but if you know you lost one pound after a routine workout, you’ll know to drink 16 ounces of fluid, preferably an electrolyte-rich drink, every time after that workout.
Post-workout recovery is crucial, particularly after an extended intense exercise session.
Have you noticed a difference in the amount of sweating when you work out in different conditions or locations? Sweat indicates the volume of electrolytes lost during exercise routines, and running outdoors may produce more or less sweat than an indoor workout. A gym session could be in an air-conditioned facility, while your long endurance run is a matter of taking what you get.
The hotter you get, the more you’ll sweat, the more electrolytes you’ll lose, and the more diligently you must replace them. When you sweat excessively, you might need to follow the intra-workout rule of thumb of 5 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes or even more than 5 ounces.
Importantly, the same applies to exercising or running in cold weather. You might sweat less in cold weather, but you still lose fluids. When you see your breath in cold weather, you are actually looking at water vapor cooled by the low outside temperature. Furthermore, layers of clothing might make sweating less obvious, and intra-workout topping up electrolytes is as important with outdoor exercising as with indoor workouts.
Yes, you can, especially when you participate in extended-period events like marathon running or three-hour intense workout events.
If you become nauseous or start vomiting or feel dizzy, lethargic, confused, or irritable, and have muscle spasms or cramps, you might have had too much water. That means the volumes of water have diluted your blood, reducing the sodium and other electrolytes. That is a condition known as hyponatremia, which means very low sodium levels in your blood, which typically happens when you sweat excessively, lose large amounts of sodium, and at the same time drink large amounts of plain water.
So, how do you prevent this? Grab an electrolyte-rich sports drink like HYPERADE to replenish sodium levels. This is particularly important if you participate in endurance exercises that last 60 to 90 minutes or more.
The variety of energy and sports drinks available worldwide is endless, from powders and tablets to premixes. Some are carbonated, and some have loads of sugar. The answer depends on the intensity and length of time of your workouts. Exercise routines of average intensity, lasting less than 60 minutes might not provide bullets of sweat, making plain water acceptable, but only if you replace lost electrolytes after your workout, be it a diet or drink that provides the minerals your body requires to recover.
However, rehydration with electrolyte-rich intra-drinks when your workout lasts longer than an hour is crucial for optimal physical benefits. Choose a sports drink with a high concentration of electrolytes, and free of added sugars.
Water and carbohydrates provide essential fuel for your muscles when you work out, and if it is a high-endurance routine, they help maintain mental function. But that is not enough. To ensure adequate energy levels throughout, an electrolyte-rich drink is best — before and after the workout. If you want to build strength, you must provide the electrolytes your muscles require to cope with the stress and rigor of the workout.
This can be easily achieved by adding an HyperAde electrolyte beverage to your shaker cup to sip throughout your exercise session. You can be sure to replenish nutrients lost during intense bouts of exercise quickly, including electrolytes and muscle glycogen.