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Drink Up! How to Stay Hydrated During Your Workout

Despite all the fancy energy drinks on the market, the best fuel for your body during exercise comes from springs and streams. Water makes up half of your body and is a crucial player in circulation, temperature control, joint lubrication, and other body processes. When you exercise, you need water even more. Therefore, one of the most important pieces of workout equipment you can bring with you to the gym is a bottle of H2O.

The importance of hydration during your gym workout:

As you go through the Curves Circuit, your body burns calories to give you energy to move. To break down these fuels and help your muscles contract, your core body temperature rises. Your body then sweats to cool your temperature and prevent it from rising too high. When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes, which you need to replace. The more you exercise and the hotter it is, the more water you need to put back in. Water is an essential part of any workout plan.

When it comes to hydration, balance is key. So, you may be wondering, “how much water should I drink?” Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as clear as you might think. You may have different water intake requirements than the woman working out next to you, and your own hydration needs may differ from one day to the next.

That being said, there are some general guidelines. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should consume approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces or just over 11 eight-ounce cups) of total water each day (for men, 125 ounces or 15.5 cups). This may sound like a lot of chugging, but good news is, this water can come from all beverages and foods, not just straight up H2O.

Practice these 10 hydration techniques to get the most out of your gym workout:

With the importance of adequate water intake for a workout- and general good health- in mind, here are some tips on how to make sure you are well hydrated at the gym this summer:

1. Drink up the night before

Water, that is. If you hit Curves in the morning for your whole body workout, stave off dehydration by getting a head start the night before. Drink a few cups of water a couple hours before you go to bed, and then a few more cups soon after you wake up the next day. Don’t like the taste of water when you’re still half asleep? Mix in a little healthy squeeze of fruit to give it a little boost.

2. Chew your way to hydration

About 20 percent of the water you consume comes from food. Conveniently, many foods with high water contents are plentiful in the summer season. Think watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, strawberries, and cucumber. Many of these water-rich foods also serve up energizing carbohydrates and minerals, including electrolytes to keep you hydrated. As a bonus, these foods are also a great part of a weight loss eating plan.

3. Indulge in electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals in your body that have an electrical charge. They include potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. Electrolytes are important because they help keep cells working properly so you have the energy to complete your best workout. Here are some good sources of electrolytes:

Potassium: Spinach, grapes, blackberries, carrots, potatoes, oranges, grapefruit, bananas, coconut water, and avocadoes.

Sodium (aka salt): Most people get more than enough of this mineral in their daily diet.

Calcium: Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products, leafy greens, sardines, salmon, and soy-based foods such as tofu and edamame.

4. Jump on the scale before and after your gym workout

To gauge how much water you’re losing as you sweat through a Curves full body workout, weigh yourself on a sensitive digital scale before and after you exercise. If you can do so in the privacy of your own home, weigh yourself naked for both pre- and post-workout sessions on the scale. Keep in mind every pound lost is equal to 16 ounces (2 cups) of water gone. For every pound you lose sweating during your workout, drink 16 to 24 ounces to put it back in.

5. Swallow a substitute

You should drink at least some plain water daily, but you can supplement with healthful water substitutes as well, including coconut water and H2O enhanced with vitamins and minerals. Coconut water serves up energizing carbs, and vitamin water can boost your levels if you are deficient in any nutrients; both are good for getting you through a tough whole body workout. The important thing is that you stay hydrated!

6. Think inside the carton

A British study looked at the hydration index of 13 common beverages to see which ones kept the body hydrated longest. Results showed four beverages—oral rehydration solution (such as Pedialyte), fat-free milk, whole milk, and orange juice—had the best hydration scores.

7. Chug a lug

A study published in Nutrition Reviews found your body absorbs fluids faster when you drink a whole cup at once, rather than taking small sips over a longer period of time. So, as you take a break from your gym workout, take a moment to take a hearty drink.

8. Add some zest

Don’t like the taste of water by itself? Add some natural flavor and nutrients with a few pieces of strawberries, lemon, mint, or cucumber to your H2O. Or purchase an infuser water bottle so you can take flavored concoctions on the go.

9. Beware of the dehydrators

These include beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and colas, and alcohol. Both will make you lose fluid and cause you to take exercise-interrupting bathroom breaks.

10. Clear things up

To keep any eye on exactly how much water you’re drinking, fill a clear water bottle for your gym workout. With a quick glance, you will know exactly how much water you’ve gotten down.

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