Just as it is important to eat the right foods before a workout, it is also important to drink the right fluids before a workout.
Although there are several options for what you should drink before a workout, water is your best choice.
Water is needed throughout the day, as well as before your workout, during your workout, and after your workout.
You need to stay hydrated and replace the water you lose when you exercise.
There are some sports drinks that you can consume before a workout, but it is important not to replace drinking water with a sports drink. Sports drinks should be supplemental, not substitutes. To get more out of your workouts, sign up for a PRO Plan today!
What Beverage Choices Do You Have to Drink Before a Workout?
Your first and foremost beverage choice should always be water, whether you are working out or not.
To supplement your fluids, or to just add some different flavors to your diet, you can use sports drinks before a workout.
Juice is also acceptable before a workout if you drink it shortly before you begin exercising.
This is because the easily digested carbohydrates found in something such as a glass of orange juice can be used appropriately as fuel by your body during your workout.
Soda is never a good choice as a before workout drink. If your body is busy processing the sugar from the soda it cannot properly utilize other resources and your workout will not be efficient.
What Is Your Time Frame to Drink Before a Workout?
It is important to drink water throughout the day, averaging approximately 64 ounces of water (and other fluids combined) a day. Never drink this much water at one time. Instead, drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water during the course of your waking hours.
The amount of water you need depends on many factors. How much you sweat, how much you urinate, and how much activity you get will alter your water needs. You basically need to replace whatever water you lose during the course of a day.
If you are planning on working out, then it is beneficial to drink plenty of water (about 16 to 20 ounces) a couple of hours prior to exercising. Do not try to drink that much water right before working out or you will make yourself sick.
After drinking lots of water, you need to wait an hour or two before working out so that your body has time to distribute the water. Any urination post drinking the water is okay because it is your body’s way of releasing the excess it does not need.
During your workout, you also need to sip water to stay hydrated, and it is equally important to drink water post your workout. Sports drinks can also be used before, during, and after to help replace your electrolytes.
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What Happens If You Don’t Drink Before a Workout?
There are several reasons water is important for your body. The human adult is made up of approximately 70% water, and water is only secondary to air for survival needs.
Water helps flush toxins out of your body and also makes it possible to breathe. Without water, your lungs would not be able to convert oxygen (intake) into carbon dioxide (outtake). Having an insufficient supply of water can also cause you to lose muscle tone, increase your body fat, and make your joints sore.
When you exercise, you increase your sweat and release excess water from your body. You need to drink water before a workout to keep from getting dehydrated. Never wait to be thirsty before drinking because that is already too late. Having a dry mouth is one of the very last symptoms of dehydration.
Instead, watch for other signs such as a headache, heartburn, back pain, and water retention. If you are not getting enough water your body will retain whatever water it can in a desperate attempt to save it. Other signs of dehydration include mental fatigue, depression, or irritability.
Drinking certain fluids can also cause you to lose water, such as caffeinated beverages. Therefore you should never drink soda or coffee in response to your body’s thirst and need for water. The best thing to do is to just drink water.
If you are sedentary you need to drink about 50% of your body weight in ounces of water. Active people need to increase this to about 75%. Therefore, it is important for you to drink water before a workout.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is seltzer water as good as regular water?
Seltzer water is just as hydrating as still water. However, during exercise still water is a better choice as it is easier to consume quickly and remember, water is needed throughout the day.
Can I have coffee before a workout?
Yes! Many people drink a cup of coffee prior to a workout for added energy. Be sure to hydrate with water as well due to the fact that coffee can cause dehydration.
What supplements do I need to take before a workout?
If you eat a well-rounded diet, you don’t need to supplement. However, many people find benefits in taking BCAAs before, during, or after a workout.
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