Exercise and Fitness Tidbits Part 1

We all want to look and feel fabulously fit and strong. We need to know how to get those results by eating, drinking and doing the right movements to get us there.

One thing that is often overlooked when we work out is sweating. Everyone sweats.

Everyone Sweats

Some people sweat more and others may not sweat as much. But no matter what age, sex or fitness level we all do sweat. Sweating plays an important role in keeping our body temperature regulated. As a result the water loss through perspiration must be replenished because these essential electrolytes and fluids keep your body systems to function efficiently. When you feel thirsty it is a signal that your body is already in the dehydration mode. If you’re severely thirsty, you may experience headache, feeling tired, dizzy, and lightheaded and achy.

For women in particular the requirements maybe different because of women physiology, treatment for hydration may differ. Why is this so?

Women physiology of childbearing age changes through shifting of estrogen and progesterone hormone levels and those shifts impact on how women hydrate.

Research shows that women may not reach their peak performance when they follow the recommended levels of fluid for hydration.

The Female Physiological Factor

Women’s body is very complex. Women experience gastrointestinal (GI) problems – bloating, gas and diarrhea five times more than men. Women seem to suffer more heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The research pinpoints it to blood volume level that is needed for high performance, must be kept high.

During the premenstrual phase of a woman’s cycle, the estrogen and progesterone levels are high and approximately eight percent of plasma volume (watery part of blood) is lost. The increase in progesterone causes a rise in core body temperature of 0.9 degrees F, which shortens the time for fatigue to set in as well as a decrease in heat tolerance.

Sodium, an electrolyte, plays a key role in transporting water into the blood. With a high progesterone level, this becomes harder as there is competition between progesterone and aldosterone (a hormone), for the same receptors that excrete the extra amount of sodium that the body releases. A woman who is taking birth control pills can have estrogen and progesterone levels as much as six to eight times higher in their system.

Winning Strategies To Use For Women’s Hydration

The article shows that drinking a glass of water when you wake up and before going to bed is a good habit.

Before you workout at high intensity or endurance training, begin your hydration regimen a few hours to 24 hours in advance, before you exercise so your body is well hydrated and to increase the sodium level balanced in your body. Sip three to 4 ounces every 15 minutes throughout your workout.

The American College of Sport Medicine recommends drinking three to eight ounces of a sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes for workouts longer than 60 minutes based on your body weight. This is translated into a pinch of iodized table salt, a dash of maple syrup added to your water or use of powdered drink mixes.

For transporting water into the blood during intense or long sweating spells, a mixture of water with a small amount of sodium and a combination of sucrose and glucose is an effective formula. To improve your power output and endurance and avoid premenstrual GI problems and performance decline, it recommends using a mixture that is lower in carbohydrates.

Women must drink and eat smarter for these female specific fluctuations. Women may need more sodium and potassium than men to take water into the blood stream as well as sugars for rehydration. Glucose and sucrose are the easiest for women to digest. Fructose seems to cause bloating because the female body does not metabolize it efficiently. This is translated into a pinch of iodized table salt, a dash of maple syrup added to your water or use of powdered drink mixes.

To Recover Faster

High blood hormone concentrations after exercise can make female body vulnerable to break down muscle and store as fat similar in the way the body handles extreme stress.

If you experience any of these symptoms: sore muscles, a high heart rate, moodiness, and lack of appetite, eat some more protein. Prepare a snack with a 3 to 1 ratio of protein and carbohydrates.

Example, 30 minutes after exercise eat 6 ounces of low-fat Greek yogurt with one tablespoon of honey, ½ of bagel with lox and avocado, or 12 ounces of low-fat chocolate milk. This will help reduce fat storage and increase muscle synthesis.

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