Is drinking water during exercise safe or not? Let’s know from an expert


Staying hydrated is imperative for your body to function properly. However, there are numerous myths that people have about drinking water. One of them is to refrain from drinking water while working out. It is thought that doing so can make your performance less effective. Is it true? Read on to find out the answer.

Is drinking water during exercise safe?

In an exclusive chat with HealthShots, Deepti Lokeshappa, senior consultant, nutritionist and dietitian, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru, explains the good and bad side of drinking water in between your workout session.

Lokeshappa says, “Staying hydrated is the golden rule to a healthy and happy lifestyle. Health and fitness enthusiasts should be equally mindful of their nutritious diet and water intake. Addressing the question if it is okay to drink water while working out? The answer is YES! It is extremely pivotal to drink water before, during, and after an intense workout session.”

Keep a check on your water intake. Image courtesy: Freepik

When an individual undergoes intense exercise, large amounts of water and body salts are lost in the form of sweat. In fact, your body is formed of 70 per cent water, so it needs to stay hydrated when working out for optimal performance. Not only this, drinking water between workouts to keep your body hydrated helps in avoiding muscle cramps, heat stress and reduced stamina. Instead of gulping down huge amounts of water, it is advised to consume small quantities or sips of water in order to avoid dehydration. If you don’t get enough water and get dehydrated, you may experience symptoms including dry mouth and lips, feeling lightheaded, and fatigue.

The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking this quantity of water while exercising:

500 to 600 ml of fluid, 2 to 3 hours before working out
230 ml of fluid, 20 to 30 minutes before starting your workout
300 ml of fluid, every 10 to 20 minutes while exercising
230 ml of fluid, post-workout

Also read: 6 workout mistakes a trainer wants you to stop making NOW!

Benefits of drinking water

One may often undermine the importance of water intake in their day-to-day activities. Hydration has a tremendous impact on the overall physical and mental well-being of an individual. Sufficient water in your body system allows:

  • Safeguarding the spine and delicate tissues
  • Ensures regular bowel and urinary movements
  • Regulates the temperature of your body
  • Lubricating joints
  • Enhance the quality of skin
  • Improves kidney functions
  • Detoxifies your body through urination, sweating, and bowel motions

Make sure you avoid these mistakes while drinking water:

1. Drinking water while standing: This is the wrong way to drink water since it puts your health at risk by leading to lung issues, kidney problems, indigestion, and arthritis.

drinking water during exercise
Sit and then drink water. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Adding artificial sweeteners to your water: Even though artificial sweeteners have no calories, they can cause weight gain. Additionally, despite being refreshing, they dehydrate your body. Additionally, fluids such as caffeine or soft drinks should be strictly avoided before and during workout sessions.

Also read: Dehydration in winter: Try these detox drinks if you find plain drinking water boring

3. Drinking too much water: When exercising, limit your water intake. According to Lokeshappa, “Consuming more fluids than your body needs may cause gastrointestinal discomfort and, in severe situations, hyponatremia (a condition akin to dehydration that can be life-threatening).” So, avoid it.

4. Gulping water quickly: While exercising you may try to drink water as quickly as possible. This, however, can cause impurities to accumulate below the kidneys and bladder. So, drink slowly and take small sips.

5. Drinking cold water: The rise in core body temperature during an activity session can be delayed by drinking cold water, especially before and during a workout. Therefore, it is advised to only consume lukewarm water.

 



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