What’s the big deal with water and exercise?

Water way to keep exercising!

One of the topics we get asked a lot about here at our gym in Kansas City concerns water. For instance, in terms of how much water it’s best to drink prior to starting your exercise program, why water helps you exercise and whether it’s better to drink water or energy drinks while working out.

Before we try to answer some of those questions for you right here it’s worth noting that, according to the American Council on Exercise, a whopping 75 per cent of the water in our bodies makes up muscle tissue while only ten per cent is directed towards our fatty tissue. So that should tell you something for starters. So, over to the questions:

Q How much water should I drink before an hour’s pretty intense exercise – both weights and circuits?

A Around 15 to 20 ounces (or three cups) of water is a good amount to sip within the two hours before you begin exercising. Incidentally once you’ve actually started your program here at our gym in Kansas City it makes sense to drink a cup’s worth of water every 15 minutes. And you’re not finished yet. Sports nutritionists also advise having a cup of two right after you finish, especially if the exercise has caused you to lose weight (such as a marathon or epic cycle).

Q Why is it so important to drink pre and during exercise? I mean, if I forget will it make any difference to my performance?

A Absolutely. Being dehydrated during a workout results in a poorer performance because your muscles don’t work as well, your concentration starts to go and you’re going to feel tired sooner. In fact, losing just two per cent of your body weight in fluid can decrease your athletic performance by as much as twenty five per cent. Think of water as lubrication for your body. If you’ve no water you’ll stiffen up.

Q Water is so boring and bland to drink. Would it work just as well if brought in an energy drink instead?

A Sports drinks are expensive to buy all the time and are only really necessary if you’re exercising intensively for more than 90 minutes at a time. They also contain a lot of calories which frankly you don’t really need for a session at our gym in Kansas City. Plain water is best but if you get a bit bored with drinking water all the time it’s fine to add a little juice to it.

Now go get drinking!


Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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