stay-hydrated-while-working-out

Tell me if you’ve ever experienced this: You’re running on a treadmill, five minutes in, and you’re already struggling to catch your breath. Heave-ho. You continue for another five minutes – and stop. Running anymore would make your chest collapse. You look down and your world spins around. You pucker your mouth and it feels drier than the desert. Looking up the mirror you see, a person looking pale as a feather.

How To Stay Hydrated While Working Out

stay-hydrated-while-working-out

Tell me if you’ve ever experienced this:

You’re running on a treadmill, five minutes in, and you’re already struggling to catch your breath. Heave-ho. You continue for another five minutes – and stop. Running anymore would make your chest collapse. You look down and your world spins around. You pucker your mouth and it feels drier than the desert. Looking up the mirror you see, a person looking pale as a feather. Uh-oh, you think to yourself. “I’m afraid that chapped-lip person is no other than me.”    

It is common for gym goers to experience days like this. After all, sweating comes at a price. Along with burning fats and calories, it also excretes water from your body – even water that your body needs. This leads to low hydration that when pushed to its limits, can ultimately result in dehydration.

You may think that the dangers of dehydration aren’t all that serious. But let me correct that dangerous misconception of yours – dehydration is, in fact, a serious health hazard that can lead to irreversible complications. You will understand this better the moment you acknowledge the role of water in our lives.

What Is Water To Us, Humans?

If you’ve taken your elementary biology class seriously, you would remember the very simple fact that our body is made up of different types of cells (e.g. muscle cells, skin cells, and blood cells, to name a few). Each of these cells is alive. Like cells come together to form body tissues and tissues come to form larger organs. Lastly, organs group themselves together according to function to create systems. With all that being said, you should understand that the smallest unit of life comes in the form of a single cell.

Now, how can you say something is alive?

Although there are many ways to ascertain that an organism is indeed alive, one of the most basic characteristic of life is the ability to intake raw materials (aka food) and excrete waste materials. Cells are given such functions. Within your body right now, millions of cells are receiving raw materials and excreting waste materials as we speak.

So, what do cells eat?

Basically, cells need two things to survive: food and water. In water, they can get oxygen. In food, they can gain nutrients. After human food has been processed, it is broken down into digestible molecules that are delivered to cells via our bloodstream. If one of the two is missing, the cell will not be able to survive and continue its functions. Chances are, they will die and wither away. And btw, this may sound grand and all but note that everything I’m saying is can happen in the span of minutes!

This brings me to my point.

A mere five minutes of dehydration can lead to the death of hundreds of cells. These building blocks of life are non-regenerative. This means that they don’t have the capacity to repair themselves. When they die, they stay dead – and you can only count on your body to generate new cells. Not that, frequent dehydration would encourage the growth of new cells.

As you can see, water is very important in our lives – literally. We are alive because of it. It is even said that without water, a person can only last two days. I’m guessing that’s the estimated time for all of a person’s cells to wither away. So when going to the gym, to a place where you forcefully squeeze water out of your body, make it a point to always keep yourself hydrated.

Here’s how:

Always Have A Water Bottle With You

Bringing a water bottle everywhere is likely to frequent your intake of water. The mere sight of your water bottle should prompt you to drink – or, at least take a sip of water. When choosing a water bottle, make sure to opt for something that’s safe for multiple uses. We don’t advise reusing a disposable plastic bottle again and again. There’s a reason why they’re called “disposable” so don’t take your chances. You should find a water bottle that can be washed, sterilized, and is easy to carry around.

The next time you get on an elliptical machine or treadmill; make sure not to forget your water bottle – capeesh?

Bring An Electrolyte Drink (Optional)

When we sweat, a good amount of water is loss in our body. If we keep pushing it, it can lead to dehydration. However, there will always be days when we have to sweat it out. For example, hitting the gym, joining a sports competition, or going hiking are all physically stressful activities that will lower our body’s hydration. Bringing an electrolyte drink with you on days like this should help you maintain good hydration. This also applies when you have a fever and you’re sweating more than normal or when you’re suffering from LBM (Loose Bowel Movement) and water is excreted from the body in the form of waste.

Dampen Your Skin With A Wet Towel

Heat waves and insanely hot summer days risk you of dehydration. Worse, it can lead to a heat stroke. Be mindful of hot days and always pack some water. Also, it would be wise to bring a face towel with you so that when it gets too hot, you can soak it in cold water and dampen your skin. Putting a damp towel over your head while traversing in heat should also lower your chances of having a heat stroke.

Take A Brief Shower After Your Exercise Session 

Some people think that it’s dangerous to take a bath after doing exercise. Well, that’s a complete myth. In fact, it is healthy to rinse your body with cold water after a good sweat. Taking a brief shower (a good 5 minutes or so), should help your body cool down after working out. It also stops excessive perspiring. To top it off, it helps rehydrate the skin so it won’t look too dry when you go out.

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