THE IMPORTANCE OF HYDRATION
Words by CORE+ Port Melbourne trainer and qualified nutritionist, Rosalyn D’Angelo.
The heated room at CORE+ is something else. As you lay down on the mat, close your eyes and adjust to the heat, you feel as though you could be in Bali. After 50 mins of hip bridges and planking, you leave a as a hot, sweaty mess – but a happy one!
Hydration is one of those things we tend not to give too much thought to as we’re going about our busy day, but it’s so important for our mental and physical health. Did you know that 60% of your body is water? It plays an extremely vital role in every bodily function, including removing waste and regulating body temperature.
How much water should I actually be drinking?
There isn’t really a ‘one size fits all’ answer, but on average, we need about two litres of water every day. The volume and colour of your urine are good telltale signs that you’re hydrated; you should be urinating regularly, and it should be clear or pale yellow in colour.
What sort of symptoms will I experience if I’m dehydrated?
We only need to lose 2% of our body weight (for someone who weighs 60kg, that’s only a loss of 1.2L) in fluids to start feeling a decrease in physical and mental performance.
Typical symptoms include feeling tired, irritable, unable to concentrate and headache. Many people complain about a 3pm slump, and this is often improved when we improve hydration.
How can hydration affect my workout?
During exercise, the body cools itself by sweating – the tougher the session is, the more we sweat. We also sweat more in humid conditions, so you will likely lose more fluid doing a hot class. Even mild dehydration means that exercise feels harder, and our core temperature rises more quickly. Therefore, if you really want to push yourself and get the most out of your workout, ensure you keep hydrated!
How much more water should I drink if I’m exercising?
How much water is lost through exercise depends on many factors, including your size and the temperature of the room. If you really want to know how much water you lose in a typical session, you need to weigh yourself before and after your session; losing 1 kilogram of weight is equivalent to about 1 Litre of fluid.
As a general guide, you should aim to replace 150% of what you’ve lost, because you continue to lose fluid in the hours after your session. So, if you lost a kilo of fluid, you should aim to drink 1.5L in the next few hours after your workout.
Most people don’t need to consume sports drinks – those are best saved for people who are doing strenuous exercise sessions for greater than 90 mins, where the person needs to replace carbohydrate and fluid at the same time.
Here are my top tips for optimum hydration:
- Focus on hydration every day, not just days you’re working out!
- Make sure you’re well hydrated before you start exercising
- Thirst isn’t a good guide. Instead, use colour and volume to assess hydration.
- Avoid drinking huge amounts before or during exercise as it could lead to stomach upset. Just sip small amounts.
Are you ready to lock in a Hot Pilates or Yoga class now? You can check out the timetables of all CORE+ studios and book in a class here.