How to improve your endurance with just water
Water is part of everything around us. It is essential for basic human survival. In the form of ice, it reduces swelling, in steam form, it can ease congestion, in liquid from, we use it around the home for washing, cooking and ultimately drinking. Most importantly, water is a component of our bodies, making up to 70% of our body mass and influencing up to 100% of our body’s metabolic processes. Water then, is a very wonderful and vital part of our human existence that as athletes, we should utilize to maximize on our intense regimens. Part of loving your body is to ensure that it gets the best it can in the form of exercise; toning of your muscles, improving your general appearance and even to ensuring that you have a high endurance level in case of any physical challenges. If you are new to the exercise community, do not rush it, start out with smaller working out periods of about fifteen minutes and continue adding the minutes as you get used to the intensity of the exercises. If you are used to the intensity, then make sure that you maximize on the experience and on the secret (and yet not so secret) ingredient, water, during exercise to improve endurance.
Whether you are a starter or a gym rat who can’t bare the thought of going just one day without working out, water should definitely be an important part of your everyday workout routine. This is because among other things, water helps to develop an athlete’s endurance. With good endurance, your body is bound to give you the chance to achieve peak performance in just about any sport you set out to explore. If you have a high endurance, your body will thank you in many ways; you greatly reduce your chances of getting heart disease, stroke and even diabetes. You also get a chance to improve your flexibility and your balance. As you work out more frequently in the pursuit of a healthy and fit body, water should be a regular part of your routine to help you increase your endurance. Always make sure that you make water a part of your endurance workout plan, whether you are starting out after a long period of being sedentary or you exercise at your gym regularly. Make a point of always staying hydrated during a workout and make sure that you’re working out at least three to four times a week, because the price of inactivity is high. You could end up piling up hospital bills that could have been easily avoided with some form of physical activity and endurance. If you have an improved endurance level, then you are optimally prepared in case of an athlete’s insertion. Your body is able to recover much easier when you can use water as a means to improve your endurance, making it much easier to improve your endurance with just water.
Factors that determine the amount of water your body needs to improve your endurance with just water
The amount of water you need as a member of an intense regimen routine depends on a number of factors such as:
Your weight: the heavier an individual athlete, the higher the amounts of water they will need. If you drink too little for your weight, you can end up lethargic.
Your sweat rate: the more you sweat the more the water you lose. If you sweat a lot during exercise, make a point of drinking more water to keep up with your body’s needs. Maximizing on your water intake will do a great deal in improving your endurance.
Rate at which you are exercising: if you are working to burn calories, your body will signal you to drink more water than a person who is doing lighter exercises. Drink enough water to keep your body stable if you are doing heavy exercises.
How to determine the amount of water your body requires to improve your endurance with just water
When working to improve your endurance, Dr John Batson, Sports Medicine physician and volunteer of American Heart Association recommends that to know the exact amount of water your body requires, you should weigh yourself before and after workout. For every pound of sweat lost, it is essential to replenish with one pint of water. He says that staying hydrated during exercise helps your muscles work efficiently. Batson also suggests that it is best to drink water before and during a workout and to take a light snack shortly after to complete your endurance routine. Water is better than other forms of fluid with high amounts of sugar, such as soda and other sugary drinks, because it is gentle on your stomach when you are dehydrated. Also, it is not like most caffeinated drinks that act as diuretics thus lead to dehydration.
Fighting muscle fatigue
CamelBak health expert Dr Doug Casa explains that we probably feel better after workout when we drink water because it helps fight fatigue. Muscles get tired and fatigued after work out because our tissues are worn out and need to be repaired. If we do not take sufficient water, chances are that it will be difficult for the body to recover from the fatigue we will get from working out. It is therefore good to ensure that we are nourished with enough water to enable the fighting of fatigue while at the same time improving the endurance levels.
Replenishing the water reserves in the body
As endurance athletes, drinking water treated with salts and carbohydrates can be of help. He states that once an athlete knows his/her sweat rate, they can start replacing the fluids lost during workout and then prepare themselves for better results after endurance exercises. By drinking water, the heart functions better and the muscles are more in tune with the heavy exercises that are done to improve endurance. The salts and carbohydrates in conjunction with the water, replenish the body with what is lost when an athlete sweats during vigorous physical activity. Sweating is a cooling mechanism of the human body when it is undergoing strenuous activity. Failure to replenish the water lost can result in the body having electrolyte imbalances and thus needing more time to adapt back to the normal conditions post exercise.
Improving the minds of athletes
Water helps keep athletes active and attentive. Drinking two cups of water before exercise is a great way to start your routine. This will ensure your system is well hydrated even in the face of muscle exhausting exercises. In between the workout, drink 4 to 6 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes. As we mentioned previously in this article, post workout, drink as much as you have lost per pound of water weight. If the necessary steps are taken to stay hydrated during strenuous activity, then water alone can be enough to improve endurance in an athlete by keeping their minds active and alert to the exercises they are carrying out.
Electrolyte balance in the body
The electrolyte and salt balance can be maintained by drinking water consistently during the day for athletes. If you drink a lot of water, even if you get dehydrated, there are chances of recovering from your dehydration and in the long term seeing an overall improvement in your endurance. If you do not take a lot of water however, especially post work out, chances are that you electrolyte levels will remain imbalanced and your muscles might continue to feel weak up to the next workout session. This lack of water can cause chaos in the human system and even slow down an athlete if not taken care of, and it greatly affects the endurance levels of a person that exercises even regularly.
Post workout recovery
During exercise, your muscles utilize glycogen, the form in which glucose is stored. The body breaks down glycogen into glucose during high intensity exercises to produce energy to use as fuel. If you do not drink enough water, it will be hard for the body to recover after breaking down the glucose components to be utilized by the cells. Your muscles then get tired and as an athlete working out, you begin to experience muscle cramps. If you drink water, however, the effects of the breakdown of the glucose are not going to be felt so much in the muscles because the water will aid in efficient recovery without any physical side effects to the muscles. After a while, you will begin to notice an improvement in your endurance if you constantly sip on your water during throughout your workout.
Effect on the heart rate
Drinking water also ensures that your heart does not work as hard during exercise. A high water intake ensures that the heart doesn’t use too much energy in the pumping of blood to body muscles. Oxygen and nutrients are easily and more efficiently transported to the muscles during exercise if you choose to stay hydrated. This shows you how water alone can help play a huge role in the increasing of a sport person’s endurance. Even experienced athletes are advised to devise appropriate means and methods by which they can estimate their water loss because many of them end up dehydrated when they do not replenish lost body fluids with water.
Getting rid of waste products
Water can help improve your endurance levels when taken post workout because it helps in the transport of waste products that were accumulated by the body during workout. This shows the need to drink water after working out. If these toxic substances are excreted and transported by the body at a faster rate, if your water intake is high, then your muscles can make a quick recovery and thus reduce muscle and joint pain. If you do not consume a lot of water however, the toxic wastes make a camp in your body and they can largely affect your endurance levels. Drink more water to ensure that eventually you improve your personal flexibility and on the time you take to recover. Dehydration caused by drinking too little or not enough water before, during and after work-out can have serious effects on your health and prevent you as an athlete from getting the most out of your work-out routine. Do not wait until you are feeling thirsty to grab on to that bottle of cold water because thirst is actually an indicator that you are already dehydrated. When you exercise, do not let the deficiency of water in your body go lower than 2% because this can affect your performance by up to 25% on the downside. If dehydration gets severe, you could experience: extreme muscle cramps, lightheadedness, uncoordinated movement and signs of weakness. In the extremes of cases, you may experience heat exhaustion. The good news is, taking enough water during and after exercise is enough to reverse all these symptoms and get your endurance levels back on track.
Athletes should be careful with the intake of water too. If you consume too much water for the body, you may develop hyponatremia. This is a rare condition that develops when especially endurance athletes consume too much water. The cells in the body can begin to swell and when the brain tissues begin to expand, they put pressure on the brain. Hyponatremia can also cause an athlete’s lungs to fill with fluid. Symptoms of hyponatremia include: vomiting, swelling of the arms and feet and headache. Be careful therefore as an athlete, to take just enough to keep the body healthy and hydrated.
If you have a really intense regimen, aim to consume at least 16 ounces of water every hour as per the recommended guideline. Ensure that you water intake is delicately well balanced throughout the day to get maximum benefits out of your regimen and to ensure an electrolyte balance in the body. By all means, should you feel like taking a sip of cold water from your bottle, do it without second thoughts. If you can achieve the maximum healthy water intake as a sportsperson, then your body is bound to perform at its peak and just like that, with the help of water, you are able to achieve a higher endurance.