Athletes know that one of the biggest things they can do increase performance is to fuel their bodies right. This not only entails eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, but also includes a plan for adequate hydration. During the cold winter months, however, it’s natural to feel less inclined to hydrate adequately during the winter months because you don’t feel thirsty or dehydrated as quickly. At X Shadyside — a leader among gyms in Pittsburgh, PA — we’re here to help you accomplish all of your biggest fitness goals, which is why we’re breaking down tips for combating dehydration during winter workouts.
You sweat while working out as a result of your body’s effort to cool itself down. In the winter months, the leader among gyms in Pittsburgh, PA knows that you continue to sweat even though it’s cold outside. This sweat and cold weather combination reduces your body too quickly, forcing your heart to work harder to maintain blood flow and body temperature. Because of this, it’s important to wear layers and clothing that absorbs perspiration so that you stay warmer for longer.
Sweating is only one of three ways that your body loses hydration, so just because you’re not sweating doesn’t mean you’re not losing fluids. You also lose liquids through exhalation and urination, meaning it’s important to pay attention to these factors as cues for your level of hydration — or in other words, drink to keep your urine clear, even after a workout.
It’s important to match the way you hydrate with the duration in which you’re exercising. If you’re exercising for up to 1 hour, rehydrating with water along should do the trick. Once you start working out for more than an hour, your body will need to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates that become depleted during long periods of exercise. Reach for a sports drink instead. Not sure which one to choose? We’ll help you pick the right one in the next section.
While there’s nothing quite as refreshing as cold water while working out, cold liquids absorb quicker than warm or room temperature liquids. This means that you’ll be able to sustain hydration for longer with room temperature water. Additionally, room temperature liquids assist in maintaining optimal internal temperatures, making them perfect for winter workouts.
There’s a reason why professionals and the leader among gyms in Pittsburgh, PA recommend chocolate milk as the perfect post-workout drink. Hot chocolate contains a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, helping you replenish the nutrients you need after a workout. Make this drink a little more winter-friendly by warming it up like hot chocolate: the perfect post-workout drink in the winter.
Because your body loses hydration by doing more than just sweating, it’s important to avoid alcohol and coffee before a workout. Both of these are diuretics, meaning they increase the passing of urine and dehydrate you faster than other drinks.
Out of all the drinks you consume throughout the day, water should be the most frequent. Drinking plenty of water is the perfect way to prepare your body for a workout and maintain optimum health. Getting a great reusable water bottle to manage your hydration is a great way to ensure you’re hydrated while on the go.
During your workout, you want to continue drinking water throughout, consuming about 6-10 ounces of water every 10-15 minutes. If you’re working out for an hour or more — or are working out at an extremely high level — reach for a sports drink like Gatorade or Powerade. These drinks contain added sugar and salt that help speed up rehydration, replenish nutrients, and retain water as you continue training. Additionally, the added electrolytes in sports drinks help you maintain the metabolic processes like muscle and nerve function that keep your body functioning as you work out.
After your workout, you’ll want to drink more water to replenish your hydration and prepare for the next day. Afterward, drinking chocolate milk, hot chocolate, or a post-workout shake is a great way to restore the nutrients in your body that keep you moving.
Treating your body right is the key to a successful workout. Start working out with the leader among gyms in Pittsburgh, PA at X Shadyside today to get involved with the most supportive fitness community in the Steel City.