Did you know that around 60% of your body is made up of water? No wonder it plays a vital role in every bodily function. When you exercise, you can lose a big amount of fluid – sometimes even a litre an hour! This happens when we sweat and breathe heavily whilst pushing our bodies through exercise.
It’s vital that you replace these fluids when exercising by drinking water, otherwise you may get dehydrated – especially in the hot summer weather. Dehydration can affect not only how you exercise during the session, but also your general health: tiredness, headaches, cramps, and body temperature changes.
Drinking before your exercise class is important, especially in hot temperatures. If your body is dehydrated before you exercise your core temperature will rise faster, and your heart will have to work harder than it normally does. Both of these can lead to heat stroke – but can be prevented by keeping your fluids up! Remember that it takes time for you body to absorb water so try and drink steadily throughout the day, and drink 500ml of water at least 4 hours before you exercise – then about 20 minutes before your class, top up your water levels by drinking 250ml.
Then during your exercise class drink little and often, rather than lots in one go – this will help keep your energy levels up and your muscles working. Also remember – the amount you need to drink depends on the amount you sweat, which means during the summer you’ll need to be drinking more often!
Ensure that after exercise you are keeping your fluids up by drinking after exercise and throughout the evening. As tempting as it is to reward yourself with a stronger beverage, especially on hot summer evenings – alcohol further dehydrates the body so try and keep away from the pints of lager, and focus on pints of water!