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How to Stay Hydrated at the Gym

HomeWellnessHow to Stay Hydrated at the Gym

When you work out at the gym, you sweat. This is not only normal but desirable. Sweating cools down your body and prevents the overheating of your muscles, nerves, and internal organs. At the same time, you also need to replenish the moisture that’s released through your sweat. Staying hydrated while at the gym helps to regulate your body temperature and gives you maximum benefit from your workout.

Bring a Water Bottle

Water is always your first and best source of hydration. You should take a break every 15 minutes or so and take a sip of water. Be careful not to drink too much at once. If you overhydrate, your sodium and electrolyte levels could drop too low.

You’ll notice most people at the gym will keep a water bottle near them at all times. A reusable water bottle is the best choice because it’s clean and refillable. Water fountains can be germ-spreaders, and single-use plastic bottles are harmful to the environment.

Ditch Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are popular with athletes because they replace electrolytes that are diminished through exercise. Electrolytes include potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium. Fruity-flavored sports drinks also provide glucose, a quick source of energy.

But it’s the glucose—a form of sugar—that can be problematic. Excess sugar can lead to weight gain and contribute to type 2 diabetes, and it’s bad for your dental health. Water helps you hydrate and is much better for your teeth than sugary drinks.

Avoid Caffeine

If you like a morning workout, skip that cup of coffee. The same goes for iced tea or energy drinks or over-the-counter tablets containing caffeine. While caffeine may give you a welcome burst of energy, it’s ultimately counterproductive to good hydration.

Caffeine works as a diuretic, meaning it draws water from bodily tissues and excretes it as urine. This is why one cup of coffee often results in two trips to the bathroom. Not only are bathroom trips inconvenient at the gym, but excess urination can lead to dehydration.

When you’re working out, every part of your body needs sufficient fluids to function at your best. You should be well hydrated before hitting the gym, and as your workout continues, it’s necessary to keep replenishing any fluids you’ve lost to avoid muscle cramps and fatigue. A slow, steady intake of water is the most effective way to stay hydrated.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Here’s more to read. How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion When Exercising

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