Anyone who’s ever been at the gym for more than 10 seconds has heard about the importance of being hydrated while doing sports. Sneakers and a water bottle is an inseparable combination. Everyone is vaguely aware of the need to drink plenty of water each day and you probably hear someone saying “you should drink more water” at least once a day. Surprisingly enough, it might not be the best advice. The right amount for you is much better found when listening to your own body, since the amount of water you need depends on so many different factors like: age, weight, gender and the form of exercise you do.
Daily recommendations vary between one and three liters, depending on how much and where you exercise. But there is no one-size-fits all answer to how much one must drink per 24 hours. We are all individuals and you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that a cross country runner in the Nevada desert needs far more liquids than an Olympic swimmer. According to a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine – a swimmer needs 0.4 L of water per hour when cross-country runners need at least 1.8 L.
The more muscles you have – the more water they require to cool down. So naturally professional athletes need more liquids than “I exercise sometimes” kind of people. Recommendations for athletes can be as much as 10 litres per day, when most of us can manage with a few bottles or even less.
There are many risks related to drinking too much or too little. Not drinking enough leads to dehydration and can be very dangerous, especially when combined with prolonged and strenuous physical activity. This can be compared to driving a car with no oil – neither scenarios end well. When the body is exposed to this stressful condition for too long, it causes permanent damage to cardiovascular system. If the colour of your urine is dark, it’s time to drink up! But believe it or not, drinking too much water can be just as dangerous as drinking too little – resulting in a condition known as hyponatremia. Symptoms of this condition include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, headaches, confusion, and irritability. If you’re frequently feeling heat-stroke like symptoms while working out and drinking plenty of water, it might actually be that you’re drinking too much.
A quick solution is to switch to a sports drink (which contains sodium) and see if that fixes the problem. Flow Endurance and Flow Feather both contain sodium (28 mg/ 100 ml and 17 mg/ 100 ml respectively). Combined with other key ingredients they ensure your mental and physical performance is equally good throughout the exercise. So let’s not give dehydration or hyponatremia any chances of affecting your workout!