Pre-Workout Hydration Might Be the Key to Elevating Your Fitness


 The other day, my husband and I prepared to go on our morning walk.  We've been on this walk countless times before but, on this day, in particular, I decided to do just one thing different and I couldn't believe how much my walk was impacted by making one simple shift.

Wanna know what I did differently?

I grabbed a small bottle of water and drank the entire contents before leaving the house.  This might sound strange but I've never actually done that before.  Even when I used to go to the gym, I'd fill my bottle of water up and never touch it until I was deep into the workout, when my thirst was highest.  Never once did I think to pre-hydrate before engaging in physical activity.  

After downing that bottle of water, we walked our normal route.  Except this time, I didn't have any trouble keeping up with his brisk pace.  I even commented to him that I felt a bit more energized than normal.  Once I realized the noticeable difference in my energy levels, I took it one step further and proceeded to jog for a portion of our walk, leaving my husband (who had no water beforehand) behind.  

Where did this newfound energy come from?  Could something as simple as drinking a small bottle of water beforehand cause a boost in my personal performance?

The answer is actually yes.  And there's a study that supports it

A small group of endurance athletes were tasked with completing a rigorous bicycling course after consuming adequate amounts of water versus the same course without hydrating first.  The biggest impact of pre-hydrating was on the heart rate.  The group that drank water prior to working out maintained a lower heart rate. A lower heart rate means they felt more comfortable with oxygen intake during the working.  Hence why they were able to extend the duration of their intense exercise for longer.  

This hack of drinking water prior to working out is a game changer.  In my case, I didn't extend the duration of my walk, but I was able to increase the intensity.  That means I burned more calories (and fat probably) simply by adding one additional step prior to working out.  I love the idea of possibly getting more results in the same amount of time.

A while back, I wrote an article about the best times to drink water for maximum impact.  Let's add "prior to a workout" to the list.  

This pre-hydration strategy could also be applied to other scenarios as well.  For instance, if I had to attend a long meeting at work, drinking water beforehand seemed to keep me more alert and focused.  Before I engage in any labor-intensive chores, I'm going to deliberately hydrate beforehand to see if I gain more stamina to get more done.  

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