Saturday, 26 May 2012

How to Rehydrate Properly

After an intense workout, you're going to be sweating a lot. As everyone knows, this means you have to drink something in order to rehydrate yourself. But how? Most people don't really think about this, as they assume that as long as they're putting liquids into their body it must be rehydrating you properly right? well I'm going to show you that what you drink during and after workouts can greatly change how effective you rehydrate yourself.
If you don't rehydrate yourself, you will stay dehydrated (which everyone knows is dangerous).

 Now there are two main options here, just water or a sports drink eg lucozade. These both have their limitations.
Drinking a lot of water at once (as you would be tempted too after a hard workout) can rehydrate you fairly effectively.  However, water absorption is dependant on ions and nutrients being absorbed aswell, if these are not present, then water is not absorbed. Meaning that not much of what you drink is actually absorbed and just passes through your body, resulting in delayed rehydration.

This is where sports drinks claim to come in. They do contain these nutrients needed for effective water absorption. However, they often also include high glucose. Glucose has been shown to actually reduce water absorption in levels present in most sports drinks.
So what should you drink?

The best way of rehydrating yourself is to drink water with the nutrients needed for effective water absorption, without the glucose. The most important ion involved in water absorption is Sodium, which is in salt. So what you should do is put 1 tablespoon of salt into a cup of water. Then put one tablespoon of that salt water into the drink you'll take with you to your workout, this is all the salt that you need to put in, as not a massive quantity is needed to have a big effect on water absorption. If you forget, or don't have time to do this. The next best alternatives are to sip normal water. This means that the water can be distributed by the body, and doesn't have such an effect on the nutrients in your body. If you must by a sports drink, then try to find the one with the least glucose.

For what to eat after a workout please see my previous post, Why you Should Always Eat After a Workout,

As always, Good Luck.

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