Here, we take a look at why hydration is so important when you exercise.
When you’re exercising, you can lose up to 2L of sweat every hour
Sweating is a very natural and common by-product of exercise. Whether you love it or hate it, sweat is part of a healthy lifestyle. But losing too much sweat can lead to dehydration – unless you do something about it.
Sweat contains two key elements that our bodies need for normal functioning: water and electrolytes. When you’re exercising, you can lose up to 2L of sweat every hour, although this can depend on the intensity of your session – a HIIT session may have you dripping in sweat while a brisk walk around the park may not. An average person can lose between 0.8L – 1.4L of sweat per hour of exercise.
If you lose too much water and electrolytes through your sweat, then you may become dehydrated. Knowing what to look for, and how to manage dehydration, is an important part of being a responsible gym junkie or exercise aficionado.
What is hydration (and its nemesis, dehydration)?
Hydration is the process of maintaining the right volume of water and electrolytes in your body. It’s all about striking the balance between fluids in and fluids out.
Your body relies on water and electrolytes for a number of reasons. Water plays a key role in maintaining body temperature, assisting with digestion and lubricating your tissues and joints. Electrolytes help your body to retain fluid and are essential for nerve and muscle function. When you’re an active participant in sport, you rely on your muscles and joints to perform well. Keeping them well hydrated is pretty important.
Dehydration occurs when too much fluid – which includes water and electrolytes – is lost through sweat, saliva, urine and other bodily processes. In fact, you only have to lose as little as 2% of your body weight for signs of dehydration to show.
These signs can include a dry mouth, increased thirst, muscle cramping, fatigue and a lack of concentration. You may also have decreased urine output, which is a lot darker in colour than usual.
When you’re exercising, dehydration can cause cramps, increased heart rate, fatigue, impaired concentration and nausea. Not ideal when you’re trying to do your best gym session or play your best game of sport.
How can you stay hydrated?
To avoid dehydration, you need to make sure you’re getting enough fluids and electrolytes before, during and after exercise. Hydralyte Sports contains the right balance of essential electrolytes and minerals your body needs – particularly if sweating has depleted your electrolyte levels.
Rapid and effective rehydration depends on activation of the sodium glucose co-transport pump within the intestinal lumen. Hydralyte Sports contains the correct balance of glucose and sodium to activate this pump, enabling the rapid influx of sodium, glucose, water (by osmosis) and other electrolytes.
Formulated to help prevent and treat dehydration associated with sport and exercise, Hydralyte Sports is a great addition to your sports bag.