Find out how to stay hydrated during exercise
Brought to you by Buxton Water
The Big Half, London’s unique community half marathon, is back, and we are here to help you prepare for Event Day on Sunday 3 September. Here are some top tips on how you can boost your training with proper hydration.
Stay watered before, during and after your run
These days, more and more of us are keeping fit by following our sporting passions – and it’s something that we at Buxton Water wholeheartedly support. That’s why we work at The Big Half, helping each and every big-hearted hero stay well-watered along the way.
Of course, it’s not just long-distance runners who need to be properly hydrated to get their best results. Whatever your sport – squash or softball, polo or pole vaulting – getting enough hydration during exercise plays a vital part in how well you’ll do.
In fact, just a two per cent reduction in fluids can result in a 10 to 20 per cent loss of performance. The very best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to drink more water.
How much water should you be drinking?
Staying fully hydrated during exercise can be easier said than done. In the heat of an intense match, or when pushing yourself to break your personal best, drinking can take a back seat. But it’s vitally important you drink as much as you need – not just to give you the best chance to perform, but for your overall wellbeing too.
The amount of water you should take on board depends on a number of things. As you’d expect, the intensity of your workout plays a big part. Obviously, the more you sweat the more water you need to put back in. And, of course, morphology and weather are important too. It stands to reason that you’ll lose more water on a hot summer’s day than in the middle of winter.
And don’t forget – you shouldn’t just be hydrating during exercise. It's equally essential that you take on water before and after your workout to ensure you’re ready for action and to help you wind down more safely once you’ve stopped.
How can you tell you're getting dehydrated?
While much of this may seem like common sense, what isn’t always so obvious are the signs you’re getting dehydrated. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:
- One of the clearest signals that your body needs more water is when your mouth starts to feel like the Gobi desert at high noon. Don’t ignore it. Have a refreshing swig of water as soon as possible.
- Are your muscles getting tired more quickly than they usually do? This could be a sign that you need more hydration during sports or exercise. After all, muscles are 75 per cent H2O – and when that’s in short supply they can’t work properly. Have a drink and a rest, then get back into it.
- If you feel lightheaded during exercise, stop immediately and have a drink of water. If it is down to dehydration, the dizziness should soon pass and you can get on with your workout. If it persists, consult a medical professional immediately.
And as a final tip...
- You might not have heard of this one before, but your skin’s elasticity is a great indicator of how well hydrated you are. So, give yourself a little pinch and see how quickly the skin returns to normal. If it takes longer than usual, then you may well need to drink.
To help you get as much water as an active body needs, why not try one of our Buxton Natural Mineral Water sports cap bottles next time you train? They give you a fast and convenient way to deliver much-needed refreshment, even if you’re in the thick of things on the track, court or gym – or wherever it is that you get all hot and sweaty in the pursuit of sport.
Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive function and normal regulation of body temperature. You should consumer at least two litres of water, from all sources, per day as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle.
For more hydration tips from Buxton Water, click here.