Welcome to Sweating 101. Aren’t you glad you didn’t skip this one? Question #1 – During one hour of vigorous exercise, how much does the average person sweat?
A. One tablespoon
B. One cup
C. One pint
D. One quart
Okay, pencils down. For all of those who answered D., congrats! To everyone else, better luck next time.
That’s right – one quart! As you can see, exercise saps a lot of water from your changing body. That’s why it’s very important to drink even more water while exercising. Keep in mind, however, that drinking water before and after exercise is just as important.
Start paying attention to your fluid intake 2-3 hours before you are going to exercise. Drink 2-3 cups of water during that time, and then drink another cup immediately before you start exercising.
Without this extra water, your muscles will become dehydrated. Muscle movement depends on how hydrated you are, so if they are dry, they will not work as well. As a result, your workout will not be as productive as you would like, and you’re likely to be sore later on.
Once you start exercising, keep drinking water frequently. A good rule of thumb is to drink one cup every 15-20 minutes. Keep a water bottle with you, or even give your body a break by heading to the water cooler. Do what it takes you keep yourself hydrated.
Even when you are done exercising, you need to keep replenishing your fluid levels. It’s recommended you drink another 2-3 cups within two hours after you have finished. Then drink water regularly afterwards. Try tracking how much you drink throughout the day. This should be at least 8 8-ounce cups, but probably even more with an exercise routine. Not only will the water help you during your workouts, but it will also flush waste out of your body’s (and your baby’s) kidneys and liver. Drinking plenty of water will also help alleviate any swelling that may be occurring, especially in the feet and ankle region.
The more you drink before, during, and after exercise, the more productive your workout will be. Do your body a favor and replenish that quart of fluids your body is losing while you work out. Your muscles and your baby will thank you later.