Whether you’re running around your neighborhood or spending hours in the gym, hydration and fitness should go hand in hand. Not only does rehydration after exercise help you recover but hydrating during your workout can increase your endurance.
However, some ways of rehydrating are better than others, and there is much debate around the best way to rehydrate after exercise. If you would like to learn more about workout hydration, we encourage you to read on.
In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know about:
- Signs of Dehydration During Exercise
- The Importance of Hydration During Exercise
- How to Rehydrate After Exercise
- What Hydrates You Fastest
- The Best Hydrating Sports Drink
Symptoms of Dehydration After Exercise
If you aren’t drinking water while exercising, your body will start to show signs of mild dehydration. Usually, these symptoms aren’t noticeable or are ignored.
You may first experience a dry or sticky mouth and feel thirsty. When you fail to quench your body’s thirst, the symptoms gradually worsen. By the end of your workout, you could have a headache or muscle cramps. Dark or infrequent urination is another important sign to look for.
When you fail to hydrate before your workout routine or during, these symptoms can worsen, especially if you are sweating a lot. The following are symptoms of more severe dehydration:
- Excessively Dry Skin
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Not Urinating or Having Very Dark Urine
- Sunken Eyes
- Lack of Sweat
Why You Need to Stay Hydrated During Your Workout
Mild dehydration can still have a drastic impact on your physical performance. It can prevent progress, and it can lead to injury in some cases. If you start to struggle with some of the more severe symptoms, you need to stop all physical exertion and seek medical attention immediately.
The best way you can avoid any of these health problems is by prioritizing hydration and workout at the same time. Hydrating before workout routines can also help you maintain a healthy body weight. However, you should always finish up your workout with water or a sports drink to ensure that you are fully recovered.
What is the Best Way to Rehydrate After a Workout?
There are several beverages and even foods that can help your body rehydrate after you’ve lost water through sweat. However, eating watermelon or cucumbers isn’t the most convenient method of hydrating while you work out.
For that reason, you should focus on increasing your fluid intake as you exercise.
What Are the Best Fluids for an Athlete to Consume?
Replacing fluids through water and sports drinks is the best way to rehydrate after workout sessions. Specifically, drinking water while exercising is one of the most effective ways to rehydrate naturally. Therefore, it is important to bring water to drink during vigorous exercise.
In some instances, water may not be enough. Your body goes through a lot during extreme workouts, and it may require additional supplements, which is a reason for drinking a sports drink during exercise. Sports drinks can help you not only rehydrate but also provide you with electrolytes, good carbs, protein, and other supplements that can improve endurance and recovery.
How Long Does It Take to Rehydrate After a Workout?
If you experience symptoms of dehydration while exercising, it’s crucial that you consume water right away. Severe dehydration can take as long as 2-3 days to recover properly. Often, it involves a hospital stay or treatment from your doctors. It’s always best to avoid these situations by pairing exercise and hydration.
Fortunately, most athletes don’t experience extreme dehydration, even after vigorous exercise. However, it can still take 24 hours of eating and drinking the proper foods and beverages to completely replace all of the fluids you lost during your workout. That’s why it is so important to eat a well-balanced diet. (Pro tip: fresh fruits are a great post-workout snack!)
Should You Drink Water Immediately After Exercise?
There has long been an opinion in the exercise and hydration community that it’s harmful to drink fluid immediately after you finish a workout. However, there is no evidence to truly support this belief. Instead, it’s imperative that you consume enough water to replenish all of the fluid your body lost in sweat. Proper fluid replacement is imperative. This includes before, during, and after your workout.
If we look to the American Council on Exercise for guidance on hydration in sports, all athletes need to drink 17-20 ounces of water or sports drinks before they workout. Specifically, you should begin hydrating 2-3 hours before you begin your exercise.
We know that some people wonder, “is it good to drink water while working out?” The answer is yes! You should be actively hydrating throughout your entire workout by consuming 7-10 ounces of water every 20 minutes.
Note: Exercising for more than two hours or in hot, humid climates could require you to increase that amount due to a rise in body temperature. This helps you to avoid heat exhaustion.
To avoid any symptoms of dehydration after exercise, you should always aim to consume another 8 ounces within 30 minutes for the best hydration results. It would help if you continued to drink at least 16-24 more ounces throughout the hours that follow. Doing so allows you to experience all of the hydration benefits for athletes, including faster recovery.
Should You Drink Electrolytes Before or After Your Workout?
If you genuinely want to know how to rehydrate properly, you must consider electrolytes. As important as it is to drink water to combat dehydration after exercise, it is essential to replenish your body’s electrolyte supply. While 90% of your sweat is water, your body loses electrolytes, which are electrically charged ions that help water move throughout your body. Without them, you could drink the proper amount of water and still not get the benefits you need.
Electrolytes enter your body as essential minerals before they break down and become the helpful tools your body needs to move water between your cells. Magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium are the minerals you should include in your diet to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat, urine, blood, and other body fluids.
Your health and body mass doesn’t just rely on electrolytes for hydration, however. These critical minerals also help your body with critical functions, including muscle contraction, blood pressure, and nerve signaling. Without them, you can experience muscle cramps or even poor heart function. They even provide your joints with lubrication so that you don’t damage them during exercise.
Since they play so many vital roles in your body, you should ensure adequate hydration before exercise. You can do so by ingesting electrolytes before and during your workout to make sure that your body functions properly from start to finish.
Best Way to Hydrate After Your Workout
If you want all of the benefits of hydration for athletes, you should add an oral rehydration solution (ORS) to your diet. As great as water is, the best post-workout electrolyte drink can do far more than a bottle of H2O can do on its own.
An ORS is also a great alternative to a sports drink before or after your workout. Traditional sports drinks contain too many additives that aren’t beneficial to your health and fitness goals. They typically have too much sugar, artificial flavors, and food coloring. If you take fitness and hydration seriously, you’ll want none of those things.
Instead, you’ll find the best way to hydrate after drinking fluids is to make sure it includes an ORS mix. These powders are made to conveniently provide you with all of the nutrients you need, so there’s no excuse not to focus on hydration and working out simultaneously.
The Best Sports Drink After Your Workout Routines
If you’re still not sure what to drink to rehydrate, Tailwind Nutrition has you covered. We recommend trying our oral rehydration solutions. We have two main product lines that come in several flavors, so we are confident that you’ll be able to find something you love.
Our Recovery Mix is the ideal post-workout hydration drink because it provides you with more than electrolytes and water. The powder also comes with the right kinds and amounts of carbohydrates. They work with your body to replenish your glycogen supply. When you consume them immediately after your workout, you can restore your energy.
The Recovery Mix also includes complete protein to help your muscles repair themselves. In fact, Tailwind Recovery Mix has 3x more protein than whey so that you can increase your muscle-building efficiency. All of these characteristics add up to make our Recovery product the best post-workout hydration drink.
You shouldn’t wait to consume the best sports drink after your workout, though. As we discussed drinking water and sports drinks while exercising is a critical component of proper sports hydration.
What is good for rehydration while you exercise?
Our Endurance Fuel provides you with the right mix of electrolytes, calories, and hydration to push through the toughest challenges. All you have to do is pour the powder into your water bottle, shake it, and go. It’s never been easier to stay hydrated while you exercise.
By now, you should have answers to all of your questions about sports hydration, including:
- Why Do I Need to Stay Hydrated?
- What to Drink to Rehydrate Quickly?
- Is it Good to Drink Water While Working Out?
- What Sports Drinks Are Best?
Though water is the best natural solution, Tailwind Nutrition can help you optimize your hydration process. Our products go above and beyond to fulfill all of your recovery and hydration needs. We encourage you to try out one of our bundles to see which products best fit your fitness and nutritional goals.