This video introduces the importance of hydration and replenishment when exercising. When dehydrated, you may feel week, fatigue or drowsy. This can lead to poor performance and the risk of muscle cramping. To avoid this, stay hydrated by drinking water. If engaging in physical activity, drink 8-12 ounces of water prior to exercise.
When you sweat, you lose a lot of minerals and electrolytes that you need to stay hydrated. These minerals need to be replenished if you want to perform your best. Many sports drinks contain these electrolytes and can be very effective at replenishing what is lost during exercise. Some of the minerals you lose include:
Sodium: helps you maintain water.
Potassium: helps prevent muscle cramping.
Magnesium: helps nerve and muscle tissue function properly.
After exercise you have to more to replenish than electrolytes lost through sweat. Your body used its blood sugar and fat stores for energy. It also tore muscle in order to move your body and/or weights. To repair this muscle you need protein. There are hundreds of supplements that can be very effective at muscle recovery and body replenishment. A very basic and accessible way to do this without supplements is drinking a big glass of low fat chocolate milk. The milk contains some fat (use low fat to avoid to the high levels of saturated fat found in whole milk) and protein. The chocolate syrup has some simple sugars that will get your blood sugar levels back up and keep you energized, even after an exhausting routine. Of course this is just one way to replenish yourself after exercise, and there are hundreds of post-exercise drinks, supplements and formulas to try.
Whatever you decided, remember that your body is like a machine; it runs on fuel. You need fuel to run, so fill your tank BEFORE you exercise. When you exercise, you should be using everything you've got in the tank so remember to fill it back up afterwards!
Video instructed by Joanna Procopio
Video produced by Ray Fleser
Annotated by Joanna Procopio and Ray Fleser
Thumbnail artwork from himalayancrystalsalt.com