Increase your Energy and Speed with Proper Hydration
Published on 07/18/2007
I started triking about a month ago. Triking was great at first but I found that my energy levels were dropping and my strength was decreasing the more I rode my trike. The rides were becoming less enjoyable because I couldn't go as far or as fast as I could previously. I felt tired most days and had a splitting headache. One day as I commuted to work, I noticed that I had a significant amount of energy and strength. I thought about what I had done differently that day, and I realized that I had more energy because of the increased amount of water I drank throughout the day. I came to realize that my diet, including how much water I drank, had stayed the same as before I started riding my trike. I didn't realize how much drinking water, or the lack thereof, could make a huge difference in the amount of energy my body has. I thought drinking water was so overrated, but now I realize why it is so important.
I did some research and found that water makes up 75% of your muscles, so depriving your muscles of water could result in loss of muscle strength, and could possibly lead to severe muscle cramps. Drinking enough water can help with the toning of your muscles. If you have lifted till you are blue in the face, but if your muscles are suffering from drought, you probably won't notice a difference in their appearance. Properly hydrated muscles contract more easily, which provides for a more effective workout.
Some signs or symptoms of being dehydrated could be a headache, muscle pain/fatigue/cramps, fatigue, nausea, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, urine being a dark yellow, increasing thirst, dry mouth, and weakness. Your body will eventually wear down if you exercise and don't replenish the fluids you have lost.
A good rule of thumb for how much water you should consume throughout the day - 2 to 3 liters per day, and 15-30 oz. more per hour of exercise, depending on how much you sweat, how hot it is, and how intense the exercise is. If there is an excessive amount of these three factors, more water should be consumed. Also if you are overweight or pregnant, you will need to drink more water than the average person.
Sports drinks are extremely beneficial when you exercise, especially if your workouts tend to be strenuous. Sports drinks have light flavoring which encourages people to drink more so they fully re-hydrate. They also contain carbohydrates, minerals, and electrolytes to help provide energy to working muscles so you can go longer and stronger. They are usually absorbed by the body as quickly as water. They usually contain a small amount of sodium which can help you keep fluid in your system.
I found that it is better to spread out water consumption throughout the day instead of chugging down a whole gallon at once, especially right before you ride. If you do, it could result in feeling nauseated and sick to your stomach, and make riding your trike less enjoyable. You should drink water periodically throughout your ride, but not in excessive amounts. If you are thirsty or are showing signs of thirst, that is a good indicator that you are on the road to dehydration. Sometimes if you feel hungry and you have just eaten, that is also an indicator of dehydration.
I wouldn't write an article about the importance of drinking water and staying hydrated if it wasn't extremely important. In a nutshell, if you want to keep your trike rides enjoyable and fun as possible, drink H2O!! Drinking enough water can also help you lose weight a lot easier than if you were improperly hydrated. Drinking enough can also keep your immune system in top shape and can keep you from getting sick.
Don't be discouraged if you start drinking as much water as you should and it seems like you have to run to the bathroom every hour. Your body is probably thinking you are getting too much water so as a result, just lets the water run right through you. It might be this way for about a week, but stay valiant!!
Best part of drinking water? Water has no fat and no calories!!!