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Dehydration is a common problem for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It is very important to keep yourself hydrated after a workout to avoid some nasty experiences. Here are some of the best ways and tips on how to rehydrate properly after a fitness routine. ~ Ed.
Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of life, especially when it comes to your athletic performance and your overall health.
As a matter of fact, your endurance during and recovery after workout highly depends on how well you rehydrate. This is mostly because, during a workout, lots of water from your body is consumed in various biochemical processes, including the generation of energy.
Losing too much fluid and electrolytes puts you at a high risk of suffering from the effects of dehydration. There are various signs of dehydration after a workout. Some of these may include headaches, nausea, muscle cramps, and dark urine.
Luckily, you can prevent dehydration after your workout session by rehydrating properly. But how exactly can you do this?
6 Ways to Rehydrate Properly After Your Fitness Routine
There are many ways to rehydrate yourself after a workout. While water is a common and obvious option, there are more fluid options that can do you more good.
Take Lots of Water
After a mild strenuous exercise session, thirst is a common, natural feeling. Taking a recommendable amount of water after a workout will get your body rehydrated. It is inarguably the best way to restore the water lost through sweating during your workout.
However, plain water can be boring and tasteless for some people. In this case, why not add some flavor to your H2O with some fruit or vegetable wedges? Water is the most ideal fluid to consume after mild exercise. However, after an intense exercise, you will want to go for something that contains both fluids and electrolytes.
While at it, it pays to remember that cold water or drinks rehydrate your body faster. Nonetheless, experts suggest taking 8 ounces of water at least 30 minutes after your workout for the best results.
Oral Rehydration Tablets
Oral rehydration tablets are good for people engaging in strenuous workouts and need an electrolyte boost. They are readily available in grocery, sports, and supplement stores. Most of them are taken by dissolving the tablet or capsule contents in water and drinking the solution.
Sports drinks can be a great option to rehydrate your body after the long, high-intensity workouts. Even though most of these drinks tend to be sugary (which is not a good thing) they can be a great option to rehydrate after at least two hours of working out. This is because the glycogen stores in your muscles tend to be depleted after about 2 hours of workout.
Sports drinks are designed to give you a glucose boost to help your body to overcome glucose level slumps and replace the depleting electrolytes. For this reason, you can add a sports drink to your water if you feel you need a glucose boost after regular exercise.
Coconut water can be a great post-workout beverage to keep you hydrated after a light workout. Apart from its high level of antioxidants and nutrients, coconut water contains electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus, all of which play a significant role in cell/tissue/muscle recovery after exercise.
Coconut water is lower in sugar, unlike most sports drinks. The other benefit of coconut water is that it contains far much less sodium compared to other fluids and beverages such as sports drinks.
Chocolate milk is another great beverage that you can use to replenish your body’s fluids after your fitness workout session. This drink has a high content of water, along with electrolytes such as potassium and calcium.
Chocolate milk also contains carbohydrates, which come in handy to replenish your glycogen stores after a workout. What’s even .more interesting is that you can pair the carbohydrates with proteins to help your tired muscles recover.
Protein powders and smoothies are other great post-workout re-hydration options. While preventing dehydration, protein smoothies also help fill you up after a workout session. When taken with other rehydration fluids, protein drinks help to replace fluids and electrolytes lost in the workout.
In addition to this, protein drinks can also play a role as a supplement for your diet. They can even replace that post-workout snack, protein bar, or shake.
If you know about this highly popular macronutrient, protein is quite important in the support of muscle growth, maintenance, and repair. This means that consuming a protein drink after your workout puts you in a win-win situation.
Fluids to Avoid After Workout
It is not uncommon to encounter people who think that all fluids are good for keeping the body hydrated. Well, in essence, not all liquid foods, beverages, or fluids will end up rehydrating your body after a workout.
As a matter of fact, some drinks end up dehydrating you. Caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks, as well as beverages such as tea and coffee, are a good example. This is owed to the diuretic characteristic of caffeine, which means that it leads to an increased release of water from the body.
Avoiding such fluids and beverages is also an important way to stay hydrated after working out, which improves the effects of your rehydration options above.
Wrapping It Up
Staying hydrated after your workouts will be beneficial in more than just a few ways.
How well you rehydrate after your exercise sessions will have a significant effect on your overall progress. It will affect your recovery as well as other metabolic processes that take place in your body post-workout, which are crucial in directing your exercise achievements.
Despite water being the best and most common hydrating fluid, you can always go for alternatives such as coconut water, sports drinks, chocolate milk, and oral rehydration tablets to restore the fluids and electrolytes that your body loses during a workout.
In addition, chia seeds have also been seen helpful as a post-workout rehydrating drink. Additionally, cherry juice is another highly effective rehydration drink that you can easily make at home. It contains a high level of antioxidants and other nutrients that boost muscle recovery and improve muscle function.
As you rehydrate, watch out that you do not over-hydrate. Too much fluids post-workout may result in unpleasant effects such as dizziness, fatigue, and heart arrhythmia.
Looking at the above few ways, most experts advise going for protein powders mixed with water, owing to the numerous aforementioned benefits of protein drinks. Pick your best way to rehydrate properly and stay healthy!
Over to you
What is your favorite rehydration drink after a fitness routine or workout? Share in the comments.