We were given a nice taste of summer over the weekend. Everyone was out and about enjoying the warm weather and sun. Like me, many people took advantage of the nice weather and took their workouts outdoors. As I was out and about on Sunday I saw people playing soccer, riding their bikes, running and walking about downtown Oak Park.
Whether you are getting in an intense outdoor workout, or just taking a stroll, it’s extremely important to keep yourself hydrated. Water does wonderful things for your body. I am sure you have heard the important role water plays in your fitness routine from one source or another. Yet, so many people either don’t drink any water, wait until they are extremely thirsty, or think that they should only drink when they’re working out. Even worse, others fill themselves with sugary sports drinks or soda thinking that since their beverage of choice is a fluid it automatically hydrates. WRONG.
Ok, so you know that you need water (and if you didn’t, now you do), but how much is enough and when should you drink it? According to the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, a good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to staying hydrated is:
- TWO HOURS before exercise: Drink 17 ounces of H2O
- During Exercise: Drink about 7 ounces every 15–20 minutes.
- After Exercise: Drink 1 liter (4 cups) per kilogram (2.2 lbs) of weight lost during exercise.
Keep in mind that no matter how intense your activity level is, it’s always important to stay hydrated. Even when lounging on the couch all day. Once you get that thirsty feeling, you are probably dehydrated already. Whether you exercise, or not (hopefully you do!) make it a point to drink some good old H2O throughout the day. It’s free and readily available, so there are really no excuses not to drink it.
Everyone is unique and there really is no ‘exact’ formula to follow when it comes to how much to drink. So my advice is to get to know your body. Look for signs of dehydration, including lack of energy, thirst, and headache, and nip them in the bud before they surface. Your body will thank you.
Now go get yourself a nice tall, cool glass of water!