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Proper Hydration During Exercise for Expectant Mothers

Posted Aug 06 2009 10:59pm

It is important for anyone who is exercising to stay properly hydrated, however; it is especially important for expectant mothers.

According to Penn Medicine, during pregnancy, women "should drink up to 1 pint* of liquid before exercising and 1 cup of liquid every 20 minutes during exercise to maintain enough hydration for you and your baby. Even if you don't feel thirsty after exercising, it is important to refresh the fluids that you lost during the exercise. You can lose up to 1-2 quarts of fluid per hour in perspiration."

*For those of you who are wondering how much a pint is (like I was):
1 pint=2 cups or 16 fluid ounces

There is often a controversy as to whether it is better to drink water during exercise or a sports drink. Sports drinks claim to not only refresh fluid loss but to also replenish lost electrolytes, sodium and potassium. However, unless you are in a hard core training situation (like marathon training), this is not necessary. Plus, you should always beware when drinking sports drinks, as most of them contain a high amount of sugar and calories.

Listen to your body. If you feel thirsty, take a break for some water. Some other symptoms of dehydration are:
-Dizziness;
-Headaches;
-Urine that is dark yellow or has a strong smell;
-Less frequent urination;
-Nausea or vomiting;
-Weakness.

If you feel any of these symptoms, take a break to grab some water (sometimes a piece of fruit will help as well). If the symptoms persist, stop exercising and contact your doctor or midwife.

Remember, your water bottle should be your best friend during exercise!
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