Now i’m sure it’s no surprise to everyone that you need to hydrate yourself, and considering we are made up of 60% water, it’s pretty important. But if you’re exercising or are a very active individual, then you have an even greater need to maintain proper hydration. But how much water should you actually be taking on each day?
Let’s rewind quickly…my name is Poppy Harvey and i’m currently training to be a Nutrition Advisor. Before that, and before COVID-19 put a spanner in everyones works, I studied marketing at University of Southampton and actually based my dissertation on green purchase behaviours and their relationship to marine plastic pollution – to summarise, whether peoples knowledge of plastic pollution, influence how they buy.So you could say I now have a pretty rounded view of the importance of hydration, but also the importance of doing so sustainably – which leads me to collaborating with Define Wellness to write this blog post.
So what is so great about water? Well it regulates your body temperature, which as we’re approaching British summer is even more important. But it also helps transport those key nutrients and waste throughout your body.
And of course along with hydration, you have dehydration, which becomes more apparent during exercise, as fluid is lost from the body through sweating and as water vapour.If you don’t replace these fluids, it will result in dehydration; simple. It’s actually been proven that as little as 2% loss of body weight due to dehydration can have negative effects on your performance, as well as serious health consequences, so if you’re an aspiring athlete or just powering through those lockdown workouts, hydration is incredibly important.
Here are a few signs for you to look out for:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry skin
- Dark-coloured urine
- Fatigue or weakness
Let’s put it this way, if you wait till your thirsty to drink, the chances are you’re probably already dehydrated.
So how do you maintain optimal hydration during exercise? Simply put, you need to match your fluid lost with intake.
- Ensure you are well hydrated prior to exercise. Note: it can take up to 12hrs of proper food and fluid intake to fully hydrate your body post exercise.
- There is no one size fits all for how much water you should consume after exercise as it all depends on individual sweat rates. One way to overcome this is to weigh yourself before exercise and after. That change in body weight equates to how much fluid was lost during exercise. So if you lose 500g of weight = 500ml of water. As a general rule, 1g of weight lost = 1ml of water consumed.
This was easy to manage when all we were doing was working out inside #lockdown life, but now that we are out and about more, going for longer walks, bike rides, running; simply weighing before and after exercise isn’t easy. Hence it is important to keep a water bottle on you if you’re going out for longer than 30min, to ensure optimal hydration.Bonus, if you invest in a re-usable one, you’re both saving the planet whilst improving your health. And with water re-fill station becoming more familiar in and around the UK, it simply couldn’t be easier!
Thank you Poppy for the awesome blog : ) Feel free to check out Poppy on insta @_naturallynutritious_