Being properly hydrated is one of the single most important factors in physical performance. The body is made mostly of water and relies on it for optimal function, as soon as dehydration begins to set in these normal body systems become less efficient. Soon heart rates and body temperature are on the rise, it becomes harder to focus, movements become inefficient and physical performance begins to drop. Use these guidelines to know just how to keep your body ready before, during, and after your workouts.
Before: The key to remember before working out is that some water is good but more is not better. There is only so much water the body can hold, and by the time you begin your workout you want there to be a balance. Too much water will slow you down and too little will speed up dehydration once you get started. Try hydrating a couple hours before you plan to exercise, that way if you get too much your body will have the time to correct it.
During: The purpose of hydrating during a workout is to continue to prevent dehydration, this is also a good time to take consume more electrolytes in order to prevent an imbalance from sweat loss that may affect performance. Just eight oz. of water about every fifteen minutes during your workout will help make sure you stay ready and hydrated. If your workouts last more than an hour, however, it may be a good idea to include some liquid carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar levels normal so your muscles stay energized.
After: Post-exercise rehydration is crucial to make sure you are ready to go for your next workout. The key here is to replace whatever water and nutrients you have lost during your training. Unless you are on a strict training regimen that require multiple workout a day your normal post workout meal or shake will take care of any deficit you have built up.