Nutrition and Hydration Week (2)


How to stay hydrated before, during and after a workout

Ensuring we are adequately hydrated when exercising is essential – it is important to not rely on thirst alone to tell us how much to drink.

Drinking enough fluids keeps our muscles working well, helps to prevent fatigue, promotes recovery and replaces fluids lost through sweating.

Here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Drink at least 2 glasses of water in the 2 hour period before your workout.
  • Always have water with you when exercising – frequent sipping is better than gulping it all down at once.
  •  Aim for around 1 glass (roughly 250ml) for every 30 minutes of exercise.
  • Try and drink another glass of water in the hour following your workout.

Plain water is best for staying hydrated. Sports drinks and diluted fruit juice can be beneficial when taking part in endurance events. They will usually contain some carbohydrate as fuel as well as electrolytes to help replace those lost during longer more intense periods of exercise.

If taste is an important factor in helping you drink enough, diluting fruit juices or sports drinks in water is fine – especially if it means you will be keeping yourself well-hydrated.

Although other factors can influence this, a good indicator of whether you are adequately hydrated is monitoring the colour of your urine. It should ideally be a pale yellow colour, not clear.

Staying hydrated when exercising is a very important - yet too often neglected - part of ensuring we feel well and perform our best during physical activity.