The human body is made up of 60% to 70% water, largely divided between muscle and blood, two essential elements for performing physical activities. This causes the body to consume more fluid when it is forced to perform sports exercises. So what should you drink before, during and after training?
What to drink before training:
The only real drink recommended before exercise is water. It is best to drink a little more than usual before training to properly prepare the body. This should be done one to two hours before training to give the body enough time to absorb it and incorporate it into its metabolism, as well as prevent heaviness.
What to drink during the workout:
Again, the answer is H2O, to compensate for water consumption during exercise and to maintain the body balance needed for the rest of the workout.
What to drink after training:
The same applies to the two previous phases, however you can add drinks rich in “electrolytes”, which by definition are the mineral salts present in the blood such as magnesium, potassium etc. The importance of these drinks is to compensate for the minerals used during exercise.
What to check or avoid:
All liquids can be hydrating sources in principle, but some are not recommended due to their effects; in addition to certain foods that can dehydrate, we can mention:
- Coffee / tea / caffeinated drink: Despite their strong stimulant properties, these drinks are powerful diuretics, it is necessary to drink more water after consumption.
- Alcohol: Some people have the idea of taking it before exercise to “give themselves a boost” or to reduce the effectiveness of pain receptors, alcohol should be avoided completely for obvious reasons, but also and above all because of the fact that it forces the kidneys to use much more water than usual to filter the alcohol, making it a strong dehydrating agent even in the evenings after training, as the body needs good nutrients and a significant amount of water.
- Salt: With a strong drying capacity, the only one can quickly drain your water, as it is used, among other things, to remove excess sodium in the blood, therefore it is recommended to minimize its consumption and avoid foods that are too salty (cheeses, cold cuts, etc.).
- Sugar / sugary drink: By making the pH of the body more acidic, sugar affects the enzymatic activity that affects the body’s ability to store water. Sugars should be consumed in moderation.
So the answer is simple: drink as much water as possible and minimize anything that can dehydrate the body. Some energy drinks are allowed, but must be accompanied by an additional intake of water to prevent their dehydrating effect.
We must keep in mind that the body, whether for sports or for its own internal functioning, will never function optimally without proper hydration.
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