Water is usually the best fluid for your body. When you exercise for longer than an hour, though, you may need to replace the carbohydrates used to fuel exercise and the electrolytes lost in sweat.  Drinking a sports drink or vitamin water can replenish these lost nutrients.  You will keep your blood sugar stable and get hydration as well.  If you are working out for less than an hour, water and a well-balanced meal 30 minutes after your workout will replace the fluid and energy that your body used while exercising.

 

Drinking too much water is: “water intoxication”. This condition is rare, but can happen when a person drinks a huge amount of water in a short period of time (equivalent to drinking 5- 10 two liter bottles within a few hours). You want to balance out your water intake throughout the day just like you do with your meals. Having this much fluid can cause the sodium (salt) levels in the body to drop (a condition known as hyponatremia).  The cells in your body begin to swell which can cause confusion, severe headaches, dizziness,and nausea.

 

Although it is important for athletes, or highly active people, to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, athletes who are active for long periods of time have a higher risk for water intoxication if they don’t replace the sodium that is lost from sweating. This condition can easily be avoided by eating a small snack or drinking a sports drink during long periods of physical activity. Watch out for the signs and listen to YOUR BODY!!

 

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