Water is an important component in life. It can shift a headache, make us feel full of energy and also provide important hydration to areas of the body, as well as supporting the myriad of functions that happen inside our body every second of the day and night. When we put the body under pressure – such as when we exercise – we need more water. In some ways, this is not an exact science – if you get hot and sweat, you need to replace fluid lost. However, when it comes to the gym, it may be that some gym users do need to be consuming a certain amount of water in order to ensure that their body continues to function.
Before a workout
Gym users should, before they start working out, consume a certain amount of water in order to prepare their body for the intense exercise it is about to perform. Suggestions are that before you exercise, you should consume 15 to 20 ounces of water. Or, if you want to be really scientific about it and ounce of water for every 10lbs of body weight which can seem like an awful lot. It also means lots of loo breaks… But, some fitness experts suggest that if you drink water ‘as the norm’, remaining hydrated between gym sessions, you may need to consume so much before you start an exercise session.
During a workout
Fitness experts suggest that gym users should be drinking around 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes in order to stay truly hydrated. Staying hydrated keeps the energy levels up so if you start to feel thirsty, it is time to take a break and seriously re-hydrate.
Be careful not to overdo it…
However, there are times when exercise enthusiasts can overdo it with water too. Hyponatremia is when excessive water is consumed, leading to an over-dilution of salts in the body which can lead to a possibly fatal condition.
Providing safe, clean drinking water in your gym
Anyone who owns or works in a gym will know the importance of staying hydrated during exercising. They will also know that in the summer or excessive heat, the amount that we drink before, during and after an exercise session also needs to increase to counteract the effects of dehydration. Many gym users will bring a bottle of water or two when they use the gym but, in all honesty, this is not enough. Thus, as good practice, gyms will have water coolers across the gym, perfectly placed and accessible for their users. You may think that it is a simple of case of plugging in a water cooler and replacing the empty bottle every now and then but, as you will see, there are a few other things that you need to consider:
- Hygiene – water coolers need to be kept hygienically clean. Even though paper cups are provided with our water coolers, many gym users will fill their bottles too. This is fine except that in some cases, bacteria and other organic matter can be transferred from the bottle neck to the tap on the water cooler. This is why water cooler taps should be wiped daily with hygienic wipes.
- Sanitised – if the interior working of the water cooler are not regularly sanitised, it can lead to water-borne bacteria invading taps and pipes, and therefore the water. This is why the British Water Cooler Association (BWCA) recommend that water coolers are sanitised every 13 weeks.
- Accessible – water coolers should also be accessible to your users and this is why we suggest placing them in various places throughout your premises, from a busy corridor to within the workout rooms.
- Demand – water coolers in gyms will be under heavy demand. Too few bottle-fed water coolers will mean that you will be constantly changing depleted bottled with new ones. Opting for plumbed in water coolers is one solution but we find that more gyms opt to have a range of bottle-fed water coolers throughout their premises.
- Social – did you realise the power of the water cooler as a social tool too? Many people don’t realise that it is the water cooler than brings people together, gets them talking, swapping ideas, advice and suggestions about how to make exercise regimes and workouts more beneficial.
The water cooler in a gym is an important piece of equipment as making sure you have the right weights and cardio-exercise equipment. Staying hydrated is an essential part of exercising and by providing filtered, chilled water to your gym clients, you are also promoting best practice too.