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Hydration 101: Your Guide to Hydration, Electrolytes, and Recovery

By: Team XTEND

When people set out to get in shape, they often launch right into training. While this certainly isn't a bad thing, in all their excitement to get to the gym, folks often overlook two critical aspects of the fitness process: hydration and recovery. If you want to perform at your peak, these two critical components deserve extra care in your fitness plan.

Hydration is a buzzed about issue—after all, it's very common to hear and read the advice, "stay hydrated"—but we don't talk as much about the underlying pieces of hydration: What hydration means, why it's important to everyone (and especially athletes!), why electrolytes matter, and the most effective means to get hydrated. Let's jump in the pool.

The Basics of Hydration

As you know, you need water to survive. (Quick, take a sip!) Everything in your body—cells, tissues, and organs, systems like temperature regulation and waste removal, and so much more—requires adequate water to function properly. When you're "well hydrated," it means you have ample water in your body to perform all these important functions.

Dehydration begins when your body doesn't have as much water as it needs, or when the rate of loss exceeds the rate of intake. Obviously you lose water when you sweat, and even mild dehydration can negatively impact your mental and physical performance, so it's critically important to hydrate during and around exercise.

How Electrolyte Replenishment Works

Our body also loses electrolytes through sweat. Electrolytes are specific minerals that become electrically charged when dissolved in water, and they're a critical piece of the hydration puzzle. While most people have heard that sodium and chloride are important electrolytes, it's also important to replenish calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

When it comes to hydration, think of electrolytes almost as or as important to replace as lost fluid itself. What makes them so critical? Well, electrolytes play a crucial role in many cardiac and neuromuscular functions, fluid regulation, blood pH balance, and generating the electrical impulses your body needs to physically function.

Water acts as a conductor for electrolytes, allowing them to move through the bloodstream and across cell membranes to perform their important work. When electrolyte levels drop too low, whether over time or from prolonged intense exercise, your body and performance suffer. This makes it especially important for athletes to replenish both water and electrolytes.

Hydration Facts

  1. The human body is about 60% water. 
  2. Drinking enough water can help prevent dehydration. 
  3. The color of your urine can indicate your hydration level. Pale yellow or clear urine means you're well hydrated, while dark yellow or amber urine can be a sign that you need to drink more fluids. 
  4. The recommended daily intake of water for men is about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) and for women it is about 2.7 liters (91 ounces). 
  5. If you exercise or sweat heavily, you'll need to drink more water to stay hydrated. 

Tips for Staying Hydrated:

  1. Carry a water bottle with you so that you have easy access to fluids throughout the day. 
  2. Set reminders on your phone to drink water at certain intervals during the day. 
  3. Hydrate before, during, and after meals. 
  4. Eat foods that have high water content like fruits, vegetables, and soups. 
  5. When exercising, hydrate before, during, and after your workout to replace fluids lost through sweating. 
  6. Figure out your sweat rate so that you’re hydrated to meet the demands of your workout routine. 
  7. Make sure to drink water when you're feeling thirsty. 
  8. Start hydrating as soon as you wake up 
  9. In hot weather, try to drink extra water and replenish electrolytes to make up for the additional fluid lost through sweating 
  10. Add XTEND Healthy Hydration or XTEND Original to your water, to make it more delicious and appealing to drink. 

Prioritizing Hydration + Recovery with XTEND

Thankfully, it's easier than ever to elevate your hydration game.

XTEND Original is a hydration and recovery supplement that contains just over one gram of critical hydration-inducing electrolytes per serving. Every scoop of XTEND Original also contains seven grams of branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, which have been clinically shown to support muscle recovery and growth.

(To learn more about the many training- and physique-oriented perks of BCAAs, check out "Branched-Chain Amino Acids 101: The Many Benefits of BCAAs.")

In addition, XTEND Original is made with zero sugar, calories, or carbs, so it won't negatively impact your calorie, fitness, and physique goals. XTEND is also one of the best-tasting BCAA supplements on the market, available in a wide array of delicious flavors, so it's easy to drink throughout the day and throughout your intense training sessions.

We recommend drinking two servings of XTEND every day, either split during and after your training sessions, or mixed in water—roughly 10-14 oz. per scoop, to taste—to drink throughout the day.

XTEND Healthy Hydration: Live life hydrated with Healthy Hydration (Spoiler: this isn’t your average sports drink). Designed for optimal performance. With goals to reach and limits to conquer, you don’t have time for sugar crashes. That’s why Healthy Hydration is hyper-focused on delivering effective hydration without sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Coupling XTEND with a solid overall hydration goal—up to one gallon of water per day for many athletes—is a delicious way to support hydration, recovery, and long-term fitness success.

Date April 27, 2022
Category Recovery