5 top tips for hydrating in the gym

Sneakers on the stairs

It’s January, and we all know what the first month of the year brings…. new years resolutions! According to a YouGov poll, 68% of respondents listed their resolutions as either losing weight, or getting fitter. Now this means one thing, a lot of you will be dragging yourself to the gym this month.

What if we told you that we had a trick for making that punishing workout a touch easier? You know us by now, so I’m assuming you know what this tip will be. That’s right, keep yourself hydrated! We’ve all been pushing it on a treadmill and thought, ‘Oh god, my legs are going to collapse!’, this may be because lean muscle tissue contains more than 75% water, so if you’re dehydrated during exercise, your muscles will tire faster.

We know it’s hard and logistically challenging to remember to drink whilst huffing and puffing away on a treadmill, so we’ve thought of our five favourite tips for staying hydrated in the gym.

1. Hydrate before you go-go

Gym bunnies often forget that proper hydration starts hours before you even put your trainers on. If you’re dehydrated before you workout, your core temperature will raise faster, meaning your heart will have to work harder than usual,

Ensure you drink around half a litre at least four hours before exercise. When you’re ten or fifteen minutes away from the gym, drink a further 250ml. Your body will thank you when you’re pushing it to the max.

2. Bottle it up

We don’t have to inform you of the environmental damage that plastic disposable bottles cause. That’s before we even begin mentioning the chemical nasties that plastic bottles can contain (we’re looking at you, BPA). Find yourself a reusable sports bottle that’s suited to you. Make it distinctive and personal to you to ensure you won’t leave it behind on a machine, and find a dispense top that you can get on with – we’ve all experienced pouring water down ourselves whilst trying to move and drink at the same time.

3. Choose your liquid

Water faucet
Water fountain

A lot of new gym goers get suckered into buying the flashy colourful sports drinks from the gym vending machines, however, if you’re exercising for under an hour, the classic H2O is all you need. If you’re working out for longer than an hour, consider a sports drink.

There are many sports drinks available, however, these can contain a heap of sugar and colourings. Consider sipping on natural coconut water instead, which is packed with potassium and electrolytes, not to mention, it’s pretty damn tasty!

4. Keep the sip going

Try to drink between 200 and 300ml of liquid every ten to twenty minutes whilst exercising. Utilise your rests in between reps to drink your water, little and often does the trick. It can be logistically tricky to glug your water when in vigorous motion on a treadmill or cross-trainer, but don’t be afraid to reduce your speed for thirty seconds to refresh. Some things are more important than beating your personal best.

5. Top it up

All gyms will have at least one water cooler available, whether it’s your standard bottle dispenser, or a plumbed in fountain. Ensure you take advantage of yours by topping up your water bottle frequently. No one wants to get halfway through their treadmill run and realise the well has run dry. The price of these fountains is included in your gym membership, you’ve already paid for this water – don’t waste it!

To conclude…

41% of us admit to breaking our last year’s resolution – and that’s just those of us that admit to breaking it! Keeping hydrated will make keeping this resolution a little easier, so cheers, and good luck!