Keeping Water on Hand to Stay Hydrated for yoga exercises
All exercisers must pay attention to fluid intake, because as you lose water when you exercise, you run the risk of being dehydrated. Some yoga exercises squeeze and soak your kidneys, which releases toxins in your body. You need to drink water to help flush out those toxins. We recommend having water on hand whenever you do yoga-with-weights exercises.
The U.S. government recommends drinking eight glasses of water a day, but how much you need to drink depends on how active you are. People’s bodies and levels of activity are different. If you sit at a desk all day, you don’t need to drink eight glasses. However, if you’re exercising and running about, and especially if you’re sweating, you need more than eight glasses. You have to pay attention to the water you drink and how you feel.
You can tell when you’re dehydrated by listening to your body:
- You get a dry throat.
- Your lips start sticking together.
- You get a faint headache.
- Your urine is a dark color.
Many people make the mistake of drinking a lot of water right before they exercise. What they don’t know is that the water they drink right before a workout or during a workout doesn’t hydrate their bodies. The water you drink three to four hours before your workout quenches your body’s thirst. Plan ahead and drink plenty of water before you exercise, especially if you work out in a hot room or gym where you sweat profusely. Keep a bottle of water at your side during your workout in case you need to take a sip, because you need to continue replacing the sweat you lose. After your workout, replenish the fluid you lost with a nice glass of fresh water.
If you soak your shirt during a workout, drink more water. Coffee, tea, and soda are dehydrating. For every cup of coffee, tea, or soda you drink during the day, drink an extra 8 ounces of water.
Get a 1.5-liter or 1-quart container of quality drinking water and sip from it throughout the day. Drinking slowly over the course of the day makes for better hydration and absorption of water by your body. Guzzling, on the other hand, doesn’t give your body enough time to absorb the water. By carrying a water bottle with you, you can tell at a glance exactly how much water you’ve consumed, and you know whether you’re staying properly hydrated.
If you use plastic bottles to carry your water, look for the kind that don’t decompose as readily, because plastic leaches into the water and can be harmful. Stores such as REI (www.rei.com) carry high-quality plastic containers.
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