The Importance of Staying Hydrated Through Your Workout

Open up any health magazine or workout site, and you’re sure to find one message that absolutely everyone can agree with: stay hydrated!

But why is hydration so important? How can water help you through your workout? And what happens when you don’t get enough water?

Wonder no more. We have the answers to all of those questions – and once you know them, you’ll never come to the gym without your trusty water bottle again.

Why Hydration Is Important

Water is the lubricant your body needs to keep functioning. A car’s engine won’t run without oil, and without water, your joints get stiff, making it harder to move. Plus, water performs a number of other essential functions. It helps keep your body temperature where it should be; sweating is how you cool down during heat waves or intense exercise. Water transports the nutrients from all those healthy foods you’re eating. Plus, the human body is made of about 60% water!

But even though a lot of your body is water, don’t forget that you’re losing water all the time through sweat and urine. Drinking plenty of water is how you keep your body on an even keel.

How Water Helps the Workout

A workout is when you’re likely to lose a lot of the water your body has stocked up. If you’re trying to lose weight, this might not be a bad thing; at least some of those extra pounds you’re trying to shift are made of water. But even if you aren’t trying to lose weight, it’s still important to stay hydrated.

When you are well hydrated, your entire body can perform more efficiently. The heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood. Nutrients and oxygen get where they need to go quickly. You have more energy, so you can take on a tougher workout, reaping even more of the benefits of exercise. Staying hydrated keeps you going.

What Happens If You’re Not Hydrated

For all the benefits of hydration, there are the drawbacks of dehydration. If you have ever been seriously dehydrated, it’s an experience you probably never want to repeat. Severe hydration can cause loss of consciousness, weakness, and confusion, all of which require emergency medical attention. Needless to say, you don’t want to end your workout with a trip to the hospital.

Long before it gets to that point, however, dehydration will throw a monkey wrench into your workout. Regular dehydration can lead to symptoms that vary from dry mouth and lack of sweat to dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or muscle cramps. You won’t be functioning at 100%. Your entire body will be less efficient, and you won’t have the energy to take on those extra ten reps or ten minutes on the treadmill. Your workout will be less effective, all because you didn’t drink enough water.

The Takeaway

To sum it all up, we have to echo the same advice you’ve heard from a thousand other sources: stay hydrated! But now you know why it’s so important to take in plenty of pure, clear H2O. So the next time you pack your gym bag, stop and check your water bottle. Make sure it’s filled and ready to go. You won’t regret it!

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