Everyone is pushing themselves to their limits, and if you’re not wiping sweat from your brow (sometimes with your equally sweaty forearm), then you’re just not doing it right.
But that’s why we love it; spin cycle classes have a cult following because of the lighter-than-air feeling that follows them, and the purging of toxins from the body through – you guessed it – sweating profusely. Our Melbourne Spin cycle classes can be tough, but so are our members.
But, how do you know if you’re fueling your body adequately with the fluids and nutrients that it needs?
Sure, you try to remember a drink bottle – but are you sure that it even provides enough to replace the bodily fluids that you just sacrificed to the Spin Gods?
Dehydration has a significant impact on your health, and it can be difficult to spot the symptoms of less severe cases. You may just think you’re a bit flat, tired, worn out, achey, hungry, light-headed, or in desperate need of a nap – but all of these could be symptoms pointing back to the same cause.
Symptoms of Dehydration:
Feeling thirsty, sometimes misconstrued as hunger
Dry mouth and difficulty producing tears
Sleep or lethargic
Decreased urine and darker yellow than normal
Headaches or dizziness
This can escalate into:
Severely low urine output, at a very dark yellow/amber colour
Light-headedness that impedes coordination
A drop in blood pressure when trying to stand quickly
Rapid heart rate
Poor skin elasticity
Extreme lethargy, devolving into confusion or lapses in concentration or consciousness
How To Calculate Dehydration:
For a quick estimate at how much fluid you’re losing, start keeping track of how much fluid you’re consuming and your body weight before and after exercise.
For example, if you weigh in at 70kg before your Spinning classes, drink 1.5L during the class, then weigh yourself again to find your weight has dropped to 69kg, you can safely assume that you need to be consuming at least another litre to keep your body well hydrated. There’s a handy tool on the Gatorade Sports Science Institute website, which allows you to program in your food consumption as well for absolute clarity.
Is Water Enough?
Water is the bare minimum that you should be drinking during exercise, but you have other options too. After all, our movement and brain activity all come from some kind of small electrical charge – and water is highly conductive to electricity. Starting to sound like a cyborg movie plotline? Nope – this is how your body works. So it makes sense that water that has been enriched with electrolytes – electrically charged ions that aid the body to maintain fluid balance – such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride. If you’re filling up your drink bottle from a natural spring then your water is probably bursting with the stuff, but most city water treatment facilities are neutralising these electrolytes as well as any harmful bacteria, so it becomes necessary that we add some extra nutrients to our exercise fluids. Most drinks will add sugar too – not only does the glucose boost help your energy levels, but it also aids absorption of those precious electrolytes.
Don’t want to spend a fortune on electrolyte beverages? Here are some easy recipes for you to make your own!
The Zesty One:
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups of water or coconut water
2 tbsp of organic raw honey/maple syrup
A pinch (or ⅛ tsp for you Type A’s) of Himalayan Pink Salt
The Reduced Sugar One:
1 L water
¼ cup coconut water
A pinch/ ⅛ tsp of Himalayan Pink Salt
Electrolyte beverages are unbelievably easy to make, and will contribute to your exercise output and recovery time – once you start exercising with your homemade sports drinks, you’ll never go without!
There are plenty of delicious fruit combinations you can experiment with, so have fun and stay hydrated during your Spinning classes.