Don't Forget The Water!


by Dr Jeremy Sims

During any fitness regime it is important to maintain your body’s fluid balance. This is something that can be so easily overlooked, and the effects of water depletion will place considerable stress on the ability of the body to cope with exercise, ultimately reducing performance.

Our body weight consists of about 60% water; muscles are 72% water.

Even during mild exercise it is possible to become considerably dehydrated, as fluid is lost in sweat and from the lungs as we breathe.

Prolonged dehydration can result in symptoms ranging from nausea and fatigue to -- at its most severe -- heat stress.

During moderate exercise, to ensure you replace fluid loses sufficiently, follow these guidelines:

  • Before exercising: drink a large glass of water (300 – 450 ml) 
  • During exercise: drink 150ml of water every 15 minutes
  • After exercising: a further 1-2 large glasses of water

The more strenuous the exercise the more fluids you will require, so increase the above amounts to suit; but remember, never wait until you are thirsty to drink – your body will not always signal thirst until well after fluids are needed. 

© HealthChat 2000.  All rights reserved. Dr Sims is the Medical Director of FitStop, the UK's foremost group of health and fitness centers, and an expert on matters relating to fitness of body and mind. Having trained as a GP, he now works full-time in health promotion and has written extensively on the subject, including a monthly medical column in Mensa magazine with the TV psychiatrist, Dr Raj Persaud. Dr Sims was the original Virgin.Net online doctor.

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