The human body is composed of 60% to 70% water, largely divided between muscles and blood, two essential elements for performing physical activities. This causes the body to consume more fluid when it is forced to perform sports exercises. So what should you drink before, during and after training?
What to drink before training:
The only real drink recommended before training is water, it is best to drink a little more than usual before training to properly prepare the body, this should be done one to two hours before training to give the body enough time to assimilate it and incorporate it into its metabolism, but also to avoid heaviness.
What to drink during training:
Here too the answer is H2O, to compensate for the water expended during the effort and to maintain the body balance necessary for the rest of the training.
What to drink after training:
Same for the two previous phases, you can however add drinks rich in “electrolytes”, which by definition are the mineral salts present in the blood such as magnesium, potassium etc. The interest of these drinks is to compensate for the minerals used during the effort.
What to control or avoid:
All liquids can, in principle, be hydrating sources, however some of them are not recommended because of their effects; in addition to certain foods that can dehydrate, we can mention:
- Coffee / tea / caffeinated drink: Despite their strong energizing aspects, these drinks are powerful diuretics, it is necessary to drink more water after consumption.
- Alcohol: Some people have the idea of taking it before training to “give themselves a boost” or to reduce the effectiveness of pain receptors, alcohol is to be totally avoided for obvious reasons, but also and above all due to the fact that it forces the kidneys to use much more water than normal to allow the alcohol to be filtered, which makes it a strong dehydrating agent, even in the evening after training, because the body needs good nutrients and a substantial amount of water.
- Salt: With a strong dehydrating power, the only one can quickly empty you of your water, because it is used among other things to eliminate excess sodium in the blood, it is therefore recommended to minimize its consumption and to avoid foods that are too salty (cheeses, cold cuts, etc.).
- Sugar / sugary drink: By making the body’s pH more acidic, sugar impacts enzymatic activity which affects the body’s ability to store water. Sugars should be consumed in moderation.
So the answer is simple: Drink as much water as possible and minimize anything that can dehydrate the body. Some energy drinks are permissible but must be accompanied by an additional intake of water to avoid their dehydrating effect.
We must keep in mind that the body, whether for sport or its own internal functioning, will never work optimally without proper hydration.