One of the necessities in every Spinning® class is water. Sweat should be expected in every workout – even a recovery class – so let’s look at the basics of hydration and why water is the best choice for rehydration.
When exercising outside, your body cools itself down through convection (air flowing over the body while in motion). But for indoor exercise classes where you are stationary, that sweat stays on your skin, creating a sauna-like atmosphere. As a result, you need to hydrate to replenish the water that your body is losing, as well as stabilize your core temperature and help pump blood to those hard-working muscles.
But what if you’re not thirsty? Unfortunately, you can't trust your taste buds when it comes to hydration. By the time you feel thirsty, your body is already feeling the effects of dehydration. Besides severely limiting your energy and performance, dehydration can also cause muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness and heat exhaustion. To avoid these problems, drink often and drink plenty. We teach all of our Certified Spinning® Instructors to incorporate water breaks into their rides, particularly at the start of recovery periods.
The following guidelines will help ensure that you're getting enough water during your workouts:
- Follow the 40-for-40 Rule: For a 40-minute indoor cycling session, drink at least 40 fluid oz. or water: 8 oz. within 30 minutes before class, 24 oz. during class (the average water bottle holds 16-24 oz.) and 8 oz. within 30 minutes after class.
- Check your Urine: Even if you aren’t about to start a workout, it’s always a good idea to check your urine throughout the day to ensure you’re hydrated. It should be clear. Dark yellow or amber-colored urine may indicate that you are dehydrated.
- Watch your Weight: Weigh yourself before and after exercise. You should weigh exactly the same as when you started the workout. Otherwise, any weight lost during exercise is from lost water (through sweat), and you should be replacing that water continuously.
- Avoid Sports/Energy Drinks: Look for sports or energy drinks that have less than 20 grams of carbohydrates, or about 7 percent of your suggested daily intake. While these drinks may provide the same hydration benefits as plain water, they tend to have a higher sugar content, which delays the gastric emptying process and makes them ineffective rehydration sources. Also, avoid caffeine and alcohol before or after a workout; because they are diuretics, they can actually dehydrate you.
Looking for other great tips? Check out the Spin® Life blog for more information and inspirational stories!