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Why Hydrating Before, During And Post Workout Will Maximise Your Results
There’s an old saying that goes: “Working out without water is like road tripping with no gas.”
Even if you’re fastidious about sipping on h2o while you’re actually in the gym, you need to be drinkin’ up before you lace up your runners, and replenishing long after your BPM returns to rest rate. Here’s why…
Hydration determines your performance
If you go for a run after a couple of espressos, chances are you won’t be beating your PB. You need to be drinking water before you work out, says a study in Sports Medicine, which found that dehydration can zap your strength (by two percent), power (by three percent) and high-intensity endurance (by 10 percent) during a workout. As a rule of thumb, drink a 250ml glass of water 30 minutes before you hit the gym [more is totally OK too] to ensure your muscles are firing on all cylinders.
Water is the ultimate workout buddy
You may be seduced by the fancy sell of electrolyte-rich sports drinks or protein shakes while lifting but the truth is, good old h2o is what your body actually needs. Your body is made up of over 50 percent water, it’s the main constituent of your tissues, cells and organs and helps to regulate your temperature and circulation. While it’s normal to experience mild dehydration during your workout, drinking enough fluids (just sip when you get thirsty here) helps minimise the drop in blood volume and flow to muscles that occurs when you’re dehydrated. And you don’t need to be sprinting to the bubbler between every set – keep water accessible (and super chilled) in a Thermos® Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Hydration Bottle. Keeping water cold is important as studies have found that drinking cold water can significantly delay and reduce the increase in core body temperature during exercise, and increase athletic endurance.
Replenishing = a faster recovery
The sesh is over, your face is a fire engine and you’ve sweated like you’re in a kitchen with Gordan Ramsay. During an intense workout, you’ll sweat out anywhere from one to four per cent of your body weight every hour, so you need to rehydrate to compensate for the loss, to bring your heart rate down and to regulate your body temperature. During recovery you continue to lose fluids through sweating and urination, so plan to replace this.
Don’t sweat the details too much on the exact amount of water you need to replace, general guidelines are 250ml water within 30 minutes after exercising.
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Oct 18, 2021
It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here.
But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating.
Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below.
Uptown Biker, $240
What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre.
Q Speed Fuel Short, $70
We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials.
Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78
Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts.
Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90
Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband.
Session short Tights, $72
When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body.
Relay 3” Short, $48
Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too.
Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69
If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too.
Seamless Biker Short, $112
These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?