It may be true that thirst is one of the first signs of dehydration, but if you're anything like us, it takes some effort to drink enough water throughout the day, especially when it's time to work out.
However drinking too little water can mess with your exercise routine and prevent you from training as hard or as long as you'd like. Watch for there three common signs that signal dehydration, and learn how much and when to drink before you hit the gym.
1. You feel fatigued. Feeling sluggish and tired when you start a workout can be a sure sign that you haven't fueled the body correctly. But it's not just about finding the perfect pre-workout snack—plain old water also helps you stay energized. Make sure you drink enough before or after your workout, and if you're doing a longer workout, make sure to sip throughout.
2. You cramp easily. Not drinking enough water can cause you to cramp while working out, so make sure you're hydrating well before you start your warm-up. Drink an ounce of water for every 10 pounds of body weight about one to two hours before you exercise, but make sure you don't gulp too much water right before the start of a workout.
3. You have a high pulse. Using a heart rate monitor when you work out can definitely help you understand how your body is responding to your workout intensity. If you notice that your heart rate is higher than normal (learn how to measure your max heart rate here), it could be because you're dehydrated. Try to see how your water intake affects your pulse; if drinking water doesn't help, it could be another reason.
Summer workouts can also lead to dehydration, so read our tips on how to stay hydrated while you work out in the summer heat.