Winter Workouts: The Importance of Hydration
This week we have called on the expertise of Nutrition Coach, Nicola Westblade BSc (Nutrition & P. Health) to educate us on the importance of hydration during our winter workouts.
Hydration is one of the most important nutrition strategies in both elite and recreational athletes; however it is often overlooked during the cool winter months. Prevention of dehydration is important for maintaining and improving exercise performance as even small levels of dehydration can lead to a drop in energy levels, a decrease in performance and a decreased ability to concentrate.
When exercising in the cold, your body loses a great deal of water due to sweat, however it quickly evaporates from your skin in the cool, dry air. This particularly holds true for cyclists as the cold air rushes over the skin, drying the body at a fast rate. Our thirst response also acts differently in the cold weather and since we are not sweaty or thirsty it becomes very easy to get dehydrated.
Here are a few simple tips to ensure that you stay well hydrated and are making the most of your winter workouts.
1. Hydrate the same as you would any other time of the year. This means drinking just as much as you would in summer, whether you are training indoors or out. Practice drinking while training and make the most of your breaks to top up your fluids.
2. Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day. This way you will be heading into your exercise session with your fluids topped up and will have less risk of dehydrating. If you don’t feel like cold drinks during the day try sipping on green tea or some hot water with lemon. Aim for approximately 2L per day.
3. Drink water before, during and after your workout. As a guide, aim to drink 200-600mL prior to training, top up fluids throughout a session and ensure to rehydrate afterwards and throughout the day.
4. Set a water goal each day. In addition to drinking before, during and after your workouts, carry a water bottle with you and aim to refill it at least 3 times per day.
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