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Essentials of a workout session (Part 4) - Fluid Balance

Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan
Sairamnath Ananthakrishnan
“Hey, Mr/Ms. Don’t drink water between sets’. ‘Not good for your body. You wont be able to exercise if you do”
 
How many of you have heard the above statement while working out at the gym? Most of us have, especially when you are a newbie or have a face looking like one. Fluid balance is a very important factor as lack of fluids can lead to cramp during heavy workouts or even dehydration which can prove fatal during very exhaustive workout sessions. Not that I recommend you to finish 1 bottle between sets but constantly sipping (read carefully, it is SIPPING and not GULPING) water helps keep our performances optimal.
 
Pre-workout session:
 
One of the important parts of getting ready for a workout session is pre-hydration. In other words, setting your body with the right fluid balance. Always prefer to start your workout session in a
hydrated state. So how much of pre-hydration is needed. It is recommended to drink 500ml to 1 litre before workout provides the necessary hydration to the body. Ok so how early? It could be kept at 1 hour before workout so that there is an urge to urinate the excess fluid from the body. Oh, nothing to be ashamed of hitting the loo just when you enter the gym. Nobody is going to judge you or your capability in the gym for that.
 
Intra-workout session:
 
Now that you have started to workout. So how much should you be drinking now? Well, 250-300ml of water every 15-20 minutes is certainly recommended considering your workout session lasting a minimum of 45-60 minutes. The idea behind doing this is to provide a volume of fluid to the body that equals or exceeds the fluid loss through sweat.
 
You may feel absolutely fine while working out at higher intensity and may not feel the need to sip in water. In reality, at times, the body’s thirst mechanism may not function optimally as it should be. This slip up may come at the cost of your performance which could have been averted in the first place especially if you are an athlete involved in a high intensity sporting event (not that low or medium intensity sports are safe either with lack of fluids)
 
Post workout session:
 
It is very critical to gain back the amount of fluid lost due to the activity. Hence it is recommended to consume 500ml-1 litre of water for every kg lost (Don’t be surprised. There are people whose training session lasts 2-3 hours with a water loss of upto 2kgs per session). So best way to know how much to drink post your workout is measure yourself before the workout and post the session.
 
So next time when someone pops up the bro-science on your face, give them a glass of water after their pep talk is over. Happy lifting