Sweating is all part of a good workout, but is it necessary? And how much sweat is too much?
Perspiration may seem a little ugly and messy (only Hollywood actresses look attractive when they sweat), but it’s a totally natural process, and nature’s way of cooling our body down. It’s normal to sweat when you exercise – indeed it is how many of us measure how hard we are working out! A workout doesn’t quite feel the same if we stay tidy and dry!
It’s long been accepted in popular health magazines1 or the gym that the more you sweat, the harder you have worked out – and the more calories you might have burned. Sounds right? The truth is not quite as clear cut.
So how much water do you actually lose when you exercise? Well, like most things, it depends on many factors – how hard you worked, how fit you are, your weight, gender and even the weather.
For the dedicated athlete, sweating can almost become a badge of honour, especially for the aficionados of F45, CrossFit or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). These high-intensity exercises can be particularly effective with weight loss and improving fitness, which is why they are so popular. However, it doesn’t need to be just about developing a six-pack. It’s important to maintain hydration whenever you are undertaking intense workouts, or even active sports such as soccer or netball.
When exercise is prolonged, high-intensity, and/or in a hot environment, sweat losses can cause excessive water/electrolyte imbalances and impair performance2. A study on CrossFit athletes3 found that dehydration impaired performance during traditional resistance training as well as impairing motor control. (Interestingly, the same study showed that men sweated almost twice as much as the women.) Sports drinks such as Hydralyte Sports can be highly effective at replacing fluids and electrolytes, before, during and after such exercise. Collapsing after a huge workout because you are dehydrated does tend to lose any hard-won gym cred.
Long distance running, swimming or even sports such as tennis can also break a sweat – without the high drama or excesses of CrossFit or those intense gym sessions. Maintaining hydration before and after moderate exercise is always a good idea, especially if you have bursts of high activity during your exercise routine. This is especially important if you are setting new exercise goals (that extra km, that slightly faster time, that extra lap). The trick is that when you aren’t working quite as hard, you might forget to rehydrate, especially if you are swimming, which keeps you cool. It’s reasons such as this that having Hydralyte Sports handy to drink before, during and after will help make sure your electrolytes and body water are in check.
Firstly, there’s no doubt that exercising at least to the point of breaking a sweat is good for us. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends healthy adults fit in 30 minutes of exercise that’s enough to break a sweat (while still carrying on a conversation) five days a week4. It’s always good to move your body every day, even just a little. And even lighter exercises such as yoga, Pilates and walking can lead to dehydration, which is why it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your thirst levels when you undertake even mild exercise.
Why Hydralyte Sports?
Just because you are not a serious athlete, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be serious about your health. Being dehydrated can put pressure on your body and can undo all the good work done during your workout5.
And remember that Hydralyte Sports is HASTA certified, meaning it is free from banned substances6 – making it the perfect rehydration companion.