Hydration is one of the most important factors to consider during exercise. Our body is composed of around 60% of water and this highlights its importance in a wide range of biological processes. When we exercise, a lot of water is lost due to sweating and it is accompanied by other nutrients such as sodium, potassium and chloride.

Exercise, especially intense exercise, can lead to some consequences, among which include: dehydration effects (such as temperature de-regulation, loss of coordination and increased muscle fatigue), delayed muscle soreness and mild muscle destruction. For that reason, drinking enough water during the recovery phase, will help us to avoid some of these consequences.


Drinking water and dehydration effects:

The balance between water in the blood and muscles is essential for good performance during exercise. Our blood is responsible for the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, for this reason, maintaining the water levels in the blood will help us ensure a correct supply of these elements, which prevents the production and accumulation of lactic acid.

Drinking water and delayed muscle soreness:

Delayed muscle sorenessis a consequence of exercise that mainly affects those who are new to the physical state or who have changed their routines to more intensive exercise. Its onset occurs between 12 and 24 hours after exercise and is related to the excessive accumulation of toxins and lactic acid. Intake of adequate amounts of water, during and after exercise, helps to eliminate these harmful elements and prevents pain.

Drinking water and muscle repair:

Intensive exercise is often related to the slight destruction of muscle fibers. During the recovery phaseafter exercise, these fibers are repaired and muscle function is restored. The intake of water during the recovery phase is important for the synthesis of proteins, the most important structural component of the muscles. If it is avoided, this process is delayed and the muscles will last longer to recover.


How much water should you drink to exercise?

This is a good question.Doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking water before, during and after exercise.According to the University of Michigan, the best scheme is the following:

  • 17-20 oz. of water at least 2 hours previous to exercise
  • 7-10 oz. of water each 10-20 minutes of exercise
  • 16-24 oz. of water for each pound lost due to sweating
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