Water and Exercise

I recently spoke to an individual who would like to improve her fitness level, but also hates drinking water. This got me thinking that perhaps she is unaware of the benefits of water in exercise, and that she may not be alone.

We all probably know that our bodies cannot survive without water, and that it is recommended that we drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but what about for exercise?

  • Water helps regulate our body temperature during heat stress and exercise, and it also helps lubricate our joints and vital organs.
  • Water consumption is actually essential to the process that helps our body produce energy during exercise.
  • Water consumption plays such a vital part in exercise that it is important before, during, and after exercise.

It is beneficial to drink plenty of water before exercise to ensure that when we begin sweating we can easily replenish our fluid levels to help prevent dehydration and optimize performance.

  • Sweating during exercise is the body’s way of getting rid of the excess heat, and trying to cool down.
  •  We all lose water through sweat at different rates depending on our body composition, the environment, and the intensity of the exercise.
  • Because muscle holds more water than fat, someone with more body fat may need to replace water lost at a different rate than someone with more muscle.

Water consumption is extremely important when exercising in extreme heat because you must replenish water more rapidly and more often. If the body does not get the fluid replacement it needs during physical activity, then dehydration can occur quickly. If dehydration occurs during exercise we can begin to feel tired, dizzy, have chills or experience nausea ultimately reducing the quality of our workout. At this point, the only option is to let our bodies recuperate and restore what we have lost. Drinking water after exercise is an ideal way to help the body recover and replenish any water volume lost through sweating.

Casey Robertson