Top myths of drinking water while exercising debunked

Should you really stop drinking water while exercising?

Water, source of life and, also, source of myths. If you are into sports you may have heard some rumours about drinking water while exercising that are quite shocking. For example, some say that it will make you bloat or take away all your energy.

Are these rumours real? Can water ruin our sports routine so badly? Well, the answer is no. Water is, in fact, one of your best allies while exercising. It keeps you hydrated so the body can work even during the hardest of training sessions. But because at REBO we have a curious mind, let’s see, one by one, all the myths related to water and sports. 

4 myths about drinking water while during exercise

1. You can't drink while doing exercise or you will bloat

One of the most popular myths about drinking water during sport is the fact that you will bloat if you drink while exercising. We would like to address this first, because it is a common misunderstanding that could be dangerous for your health. No, water doesn’t make you bloat if you drink it while doing sports. In fact, it is mandatory that you drink while exercising. If you don’t, you could end up dehydrated.

 Bloating is actually caused by the lack of oxygen and fatigue of the respiratory muscles. The only way water could make you “bloat” is if you drink too much water in just one take, and at a very quick pace. This could result in a tummy full of water that makes a funny sound (glup, glup, glup) when moving around. But this is a very extreme case, because it usually happens when you swallow too much air while drinking too much. To avoid it, try not to drink when you feel very thirsty: it is better to have a zip of water now and then than waiting until you can’t stand the dryness anymore.

Remember: You shouldn’t stop drinking water while training because your body needs it to be hydrated, replace minerals and function properly

2. Drinking water while exercising will take away your energy

This is another rumour that doesn’t have consistency. Some say that water can make you feel more tired if you drink while working out because you will sweat more. The truth is quite the opposite: because you sweat when you move, you should drink more water to avoid losing energy. Dehydration WILL actually make you feel tired, and it could be dangerous.Some of the symptoms of dehydration are:

  • A strong feeling of thirst
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes.
  • In severe cause, a tiredness that could lead to injuries.

So, as you can see, avoiding water is not a good idea, and it could even wound you. Imagine, then, how important it is that we don’t give credit to these kinds of rumours.

3. You will gain weight if you drink water while exercising

Some say that you can’t drink water while exercising because you won’t lose weight. This theory supports that, if you hydrate yourself, you are refilling the water that you are losing, therefore you are annulling all your efforts.

This is not true, but it has a twist to it so please bare with us for a moment.

People retain water in their bodies. It is pretty normal since we are 60-70% water. When you retain more water than normal you can, indeed, gain a few grams. This is called water weight, but don’t worry, because it goes away in 24 hours. Please note that, if you have a diet very high in sodium, this water weight could be a little more difficult to get rid of. Nonetheless, it is not a real weight indicator, as water is not the same as fat.In the end, water doesn’t contain any calories, so it is impossible to gain weight when drinking. 

4. It’s better to drink isotonic drinks than water while doing exercise

The image of an athlete drinking from a blue, red or yellow liquid for hydration is very common in our minds. We have seen it so many times that we have started thinking that isotonic drinks are the elixir of sports. But, are they?

“Water is the main ingredient in sports drinks, but they also contain other substances, including carbs and electrolyte”, says an article from Healthline, “The carbs in these drinks are often in the form of sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose, but they may also be found in other forms”.

This means that sports drinks are made of, essentially, sugar and extra calories.Experts do say that isotonic drinks may be beneficial for increasing a performance in a very long session, but the true is that most of the people don’t need those extra calories. “Hydration can be accomplished with water, and electrolytes can be replenished by consuming a diet rich in whole foods that naturally contain electrolytes,” says Vasanti Malik, a doctor of science and an assistant professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. “The added sugars and calories in sports drinks are associated with a higher risk of developing and experiencing complications from conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes'' she adds.If you are running a marathon, you may consider drinking these kinds of beverages so you can use glucose and carbs to fuel your body. But, normally, water is a healthier choice than isotonic drinks

How much water should I drink while exercising?

If you have doubts, we will tell you that the recommended water intake while practicing sports is 200ml every 15 minutes, and before and after 300ml to increase your fluid reserves and / or recover what you have lost. But keep in mind that not everybody has the same needs. If you want to know your own hydration plan, made just for you, you can download the REBO app. It will tell you the exact amount of water you should drink in a day based on your gender, age, weight and activity.