In recent years, one study after another has suggested that up to 75% of Americans might be dehydrated on a daily basis. This can be very harmful to people’s health.
It can be especially harmful to those who enjoy working out regularly. If fluid consumption isn’t something that’s a top priority for you when you work out, it can leave you even more dehydrated than usual. You may suffer from muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue, and other side effects.
Fluid replacement will also be extremely important for those who work out all the time. If you don’t replenish fluids in your body following sweat loss during your workouts, it can take a huge toll on your body. It can also impact the exercise recovery process.
So, how can you replace fluids after exercise effectively? There are many steps you can take to accomplish this goal. Check some of them out below and start putting them to good use immediately.
Begin by Hydrating Before Workouts
Do you want to make sure you don’t diminish your fluid levels too much during workouts? Then it would be a great idea to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate some more in the hours leading up to workouts.
You don’t necessarily want to go too overboard and throw your electrolyte levels off by drinking too much water. But it’d be worth getting yourself into the habit of drinking water early and often prior to workouts.
When you do this, you won’t have to work as hard to do fluid replacement later. Your body will have more than enough fluids to get you through even the toughest workouts.
Drink Plenty of Water After Workouts
As long as you drink lots of water before workouts, you shouldn’t see your hydration levels drop suddenly once you start working out. You should have more than enough water in your system to push through your workouts.
But once your workouts end, you’ll need to start working on fluid replacement right away. To start, you should drink at least 8 ounces of water to begin the rehydration process.
From there, you should keep on drinking water throughout the rest of the day and night. You’ll want to get at least 16 to 24 ounces of water into your body for every pound that you think you should have lost during a workout.
Get Your Hands on Sports Drinks Following Workouts
Most people will be able to get away with drinking little more than water when it comes to fluid replacement. But if you aren’t a big fan of water or if you want something that’s going to hydrate you a little better, you might want to grab sports drinks to enjoy after workouts instead.
Sports drinks are going to contain a bunch of things that aren’t found in regular old water. This includes:
In some instances, you’ll even find protein in certain sports drinks. All of these things will work wonders for your fluid replacement efforts. They’ll also speed up the exercise recovery process and ensure you’re ready to go the next time you start working out.
Consider Drinking Coconut Water Over Sports Drinks
One of the problems people sometimes have with sports drinks is that they’re often loaded with sugar. They can also cause gastrointestinal issues in some cases.
If you don’t like these aspects of sports drinks, you might think you’ll be stuck with drinking ordinary water. But you can still kick things up a notch by going with coconut water.
Coconut water has electrolytes like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium in it. They’ll also help you with fluid replacement.
Coconut water also has carbohydrates that’ll make your muscle function better than they would otherwise and allow your muscles to heal quickly. You might also come to appreciate the taste of coconut water way more than water and even sports drinks.
Try Electrolyte Supplements in Place of Sports Drinks
If you haven’t noticed by now, getting electrolytes into your system fast is going to be one of the keys to fluid replacement. The more electrolytes you’re able to take in, the more hydrated you’ll be in the aftermath of tough workouts.
But people who aren’t into drinking sports drinks or an option like coconut water aren’t always able to get enough electrolytes back into their bodies. This is where electrolyte supplements can step in and help.
You can find electrolyte supplements that’ll be available in either pill or powder form. No matter how you choose to take them, all you’ll need to do is down them with some water to get the benefits of using them.
You’ll be able to keep your electrolyte levels at a much healthier level overall when you work electrolyte supplements into the mix. You’ll also be able to do it without having to throw back multiple sports drinks or coconut water.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables With a High Water Content
When you think about fluid replacement, you obviously think about, well, fluid. You will, for the most part, want to drink more often than usual after a workout to replenish your body with fluid.
But there are also certain things you can eat to get water flowing through your system again. For example, there will be any number of fruits and vegetables you can eat to rehydrate.
If you’re going to try to replenish your fluid levels with fruits and vegetables, you should stick with those options that have a high water content. This will mean eating things like watermelon. About 92% of watermelon is made up of water.
Some of the other great fruits and vegetables to eat when you’re working on rehydrating will be:
You might not want to get too crazy and down all these fruits and vegetables at once. Introducing too much food into your system right after a workout could prove to do more harm than good.
But you shouldn’t be afraid to choose one or two of these fruits and vegetables when you start getting hungry after a workout.
Avoid Sweating Too Much Once Workouts Are Done
Working out can result in quite a bit of sweat loss. This sweat loss will be good for you at first because it’ll help remove toxins from your skin and make your skin glow in the process.
But sweat loss is also going to lower your hydration levels and put you in a position where you’ll have to do fluid replacement. It’s why you should try not to sweat any more than you already have following workouts.
If you know you’re going to need to, say, mow the lawn on Saturday, you should try not to go to the gym for a workout first and then spend the whole afternoon outside. You might end up sweating once while you’re at the gym and again while you’re mowing the lawn and lose too much fluid in a short period of time.
Your workout days should be your workout days, and you should try not to schedule any other intense physical activities on them. It’ll help prevent you from losing large amounts of fluid at once, thus making it difficult to do fluid replacement yourself.
See If Workout Supplements May Cause Hydration Issues
Do you take workout supplements in an attempt to build more muscle or make your muscle leaner? If you do, this is something you’ll need to take into account when it comes to fluid replacement.
There are certain workout supplements that might leave you feeling dehydrated at times. If they’re effective supplements, you won’t need to stop taking them. But you will need to be even more proactive about replenishing your body’s fluid levels.
Some selective androgen receptor modulators, or SARMs, can leave you feeling a little dehydrated. But they’re also extremely useful for those who want to add muscle to their frames.
So you should learn where to buy SARMs that contain only high-quality ingredients. This alone should help you avoid having to deal with too many side effects.
You should also make it your mission to keep your body as hydrated as you can when taking these supplements. It’ll enable you to make the most of them without putting you in harm’s way at any point.
Watch for Signs of Dehydration
When you make it a point to take fluid replacement seriously, you shouldn’t have to be too concerned about getting dehydrated. But even still, you should be aware of the signs of dehydration and do what you can to steer clear of them.
If you’re dehydrated, it’ll only be a matter of time before you begin to notice it. You don’t want to turn a blind eye to any of the common signs of dehydration and make a bad situation worse.
These are some of the signs of dehydration you’ll need to know about:
- Dry skin
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle cramping
You’ll also be able to tell when you’re dehydrated just by looking at your urine. If your urine is a very dark yellow color, it’ll mean you need to get more fluids into you fast.
The good news is that you should be able to reverse the early effects of dehydration simply by taking it easy and focusing on fluid replacement. But some people will try to push past it without doing these things, and that’s where problems can set in.
Don’t ever ignore any of the signs of dehydration for any longer than you have to. It could make it necessary for you to seek medical care. It could also limit the working out you’ll be able to do in the days to come.
Think About Getting an IV If Dehydration Sets In
If you take action as soon as you spot any of the signs of dehydration, you should be able to hydrate your body again after workouts and get things back to normal. But if these dehydration symptoms persist, you might also have to take serious action.
There will be times when you’ll need to take a trip to a hospital or another medical facility to combat dehydration. They’ll be able to provide you with an IV that can help you with fluid replacement.
To be clear, you do not want to be heading to the ER every other week because you’re dehydrated. If this is happening, you’re either not working hard enough at fluid replacement or you have a medical issue that will need to be dealt with accordingly.
But if you’re ever feeling awful after a workout and suspect dehydration may be to blame, visiting a medical facility could be the right move for you to make. It’ll give you a chance to get an IV that will get your dehydration under control and make it possible for you to go through the fluid replacement process at a more rapid rate than usual.
Fluid Replacement Is Important for Workout Warriors
Sweating during your workouts will feel really good. You’ll get a sense of accomplishment when you look down and notice that you’re covered with sweat.
But all this sweat loss should also be at least a small cause for concern. It’ll show you that you’re going to need to rehydrate as soon as you can. You should try one or more of the fluid replacement options listed here to get the job done.
Would you like to get more tips that’ll help you improve your health and live a better lifestyle? Look for them in some of the other articles published on our blog.