Sweating is important, but you'll want to replace those fluids to stay hydrated. Get-Fit Guy shows you how to easily calculate your sweat rate and convert that into how much fluid you should drink.
Recently, I interviewed a guy named Allan Lim on my podcast. Allan works with people from professional cyclists to weekend warriors, and one of the things he emphasizes is crucial to maximizing your performance is the importance of knowing your sweat rate. Why is this so crucial?
A recent study, entitled “Ultraendurance cycling in a hot environment: thirst, fluid consumption, and water balance,” followed 26 male cyclists while they completed a hot, summer, 164km road cycling event over the course of about 7 hours. Researchers paid attention to the participants’ thirst ratings, amount of fluid consumed, markers of hydration status, and body water balance. Body water balance was calculated by measuring ingested fluid volume and then subtracting the total volume of urine excreted and the total amount of sweat loss.
Since the data produced a wide range of total sweat loss and total fluid intakes, the researchers emphasized the importance of developing an individualized drinking plan for each athlete by calculating sweat rate and body mass changes during competition.
So, how can you practically measure how much you sweat so that you can try to replace what you’ve lost during exercise? One, simple method (if you don’t want to measure your urine and total fluid intake during exercise) is to simply weigh yourself before and after a hard, 1 hour workout. The amount of weight you lose is your approximate sweat loss per hour. Then, simply convert pounds of weight lost to ounces (using a calculator like this), and make sure you drink enough post-workout to replace what you’ve lost. It’s that simple! For added benefit, you should also include some kind of electrolyte source, such as an effervescent electrolyte tablet or electrolyte powder, to the water you’re drinking (another concept that Allen and I delve into in detail in the podcast).
See also: How to Calculate Your Sweat Rate
What do you think? Do you plan on figuring out how much you sweat? If you have more questions about how to use sweat and hydration, then head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy and ask your questions or join the conversation there!