Fitness enthusiasts who don’t get adequate amounts of fluid before working out may actually be sabotaging their fitness goals. Scientists from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute recently conducted a study of more than 300 male and female adult exercisers at various Bally Total Fitness clubs in Chicago and Los Angeles. The study’s purpose was to estimate the hydration status of the exercisers before they began their workouts.
The researchers measured the subjects’ specific gravity of urine (USG)—the weight of urine relative to its volume. The USG level tends to rise, or become more concentrated, when a person is dehydrated.
Among the findings:
- Nearly half of those surveyed were dehydrated before their workouts.
- Men were more likely to be dehydrated than women.
Even more interestingly, of those found to be dehydrated:
- Nearly 75 percent planned to work out for an hour or more.
- More than 50 percent thought they were properly hydrated.
- More than 90 percent worked out three or more times per week.
- More than half struggled to get enough liquid throughout the day.
- More than two-thirds drank plain water, and the other third drank nothing at all!
The Gatorade researchers concluded that “to get the most out of workouts, many exercisers need to pay special attention to what they drink and how much they drink, for optimal hydration.”