Avoid 6 Common Hydration Mistakes People Make When Training – 6/21/2022

When we are not well hydrated or if we do intense exercise for a long time without adequate fluid replacement, the amount of water in the body tends to be much lower than normal. This not only accelerates fatigue, it can also prevent the body from maintaining important functions, for example, maintaining core temperature, protecting vital organs, and excreting toxins through urine and sweat.

As such, good hydration is essential, especially when you are exercising. Here are some common mistakes people make when doing physical activity and how to avoid them.

Not getting enough hydration before, during, and after exercise

The exact amount of water you need to drink varies depending on the ambient temperature, humidity and level of exertion. These are the recommendations of the SBME (Brazilian Society of Exercise and Sport Medicine):

  • Hydrate yourself properly in the 24 hours before physical activity – a good way to control this is to observe the color of your urine, which should be clear.
  • Start exercising well hydrated. For this, it is recommended, two hours before exercise, to ingest 250 ml to 500 ml of liquids (preferably water).
  • During physical activity, try to hydrate every 15 or 20 minutes, drinking from 150 ml to 200 ml of water (a glass).
  • If the activity time is longer than 60 minutes, consume isotonics — sports drinks rich in carbohydrates (a source of energy) and electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium, which are eliminated in sweat and need to be replaced).

Not planning how to hydrate

Many people simply forget to drink water — or take a long time to do so — when they are taking a long walk, fighting, swimming, or playing soccer. Thus, they are dehydrated during the training period and, after, they want to hydrate at once.

That’s why it’s so important to plan properly within the recommendations of the previous item. If you’re going to exercise somewhere that doesn’t have drinking fountains, bring your little bottle.

You don’t replenish lost electrolytes

According to research, a person of normal weight can lose up to 500 ml of sweat every 30 minutes of exercise, and this number can rise to three to four liters of sweat per hour, depending on the metabolic rate and intensity of the exercise. training.

Sweat mainly consists of water, but it also includes important electrolytes for the body to function, such as sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Electrolytes are minerals present in body fluids such as blood and urine. They help manage various bodily functions, including absorbing nutrients, removing waste, and distributing water in the body.

Sweating, vomiting and diarrhea can cause you to lose electrolytes, leaving you dehydrated or causing muscle cramps and spasms. Sodium is the electrolyte your body loses the most when you sweat.

Therefore, people who exercise intensely for about an hour should consume adequate sports drinks to help replenish electrolytes.

You don’t choose the right sports drink

One of the keys to replacing lost electrolytes is choosing your sports drink wisely. Many sports drinks are specifically designed to maintain the body’s electrolyte balance when you’re sweating.

Coconut water can also replace lost electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and manganese.

Many people choose sugar-free, calorie-free, or low-sodium sports drinks, which are commonly available for purchase. However, depending on the type and intensity of your workout, your carbohydrate and sodium needs should be taken into account.

It is important to stress that energy drinks with high caffeine and sugar content, which can lead to increased blood pressure, irritability, restlessness and increased risk of dehydration, should be avoided.

You don’t get enough magnesium

Magnesium helps restore hydration status during recovery. It’s important to be clear that many people don’t meet the recommended magnesium intake, especially men over 70 and teenagers. So add magnesium-rich foods to your diet — opt for vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, arugula, kale, spinach, milk and yogurt. Fortified foods like cereal can also help you increase your magnesium intake.

Research has shown that magnesium supplements can help improve exercise performance, including grip strength and lower leg strength. But more research is needed to confirm these potential effects.

It is worth remembering that before taking any supplement it is important to consult with your doctor and nutritionist.

Post-workout alcohol intake

Some people like to have a “beer” after breaking a sweat in training or running. However, it is worth remembering that alcohol consumption favors dehydration – which is usually no longer adequate after exercise. In addition, the drink is far from having a good nutritional profile for post-workout recovery.


Mayo Clinic. Nutrition and healthy eating. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

Mayo Clinic. Dehydration. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086

Mayo Clinic. Energy Beverages: Content and Safety. Available at: https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)60094-3/fulltext

Cleveland Clinic. Dehydration. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/9013-dehydration

Cleveland Clinic. Electrolyte Drinks: Beneficial or Not? Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/electrolyte-drinks-beneficial-or-not/

ACE Electrolytes: Understanding Replacement Options. Available at: https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/715/electrolytes-understanding-replacement-options/

Medline PLUS. Electrolytes. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002350.htm

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Military Nutrition Research; Marriott BM, editor. Nutritional Needs in Hot Environments: Applications for Military Personnel in Field Operations. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1993. 5, Water Requirements During Exercise in the Heat. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK236237/

Schwalfenberg GK, Genuis SJ. The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica (Cairo). 2017;2017:4179326. doi:10.1155/2017/4179326

Zhang Y, Xun P, Wang R, Mao L, He K. Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance?. nutrients. 2017;9(9):946. Published 2017 Aug 28. doi:10.3390/nu9090946

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