Lifewatch: Staying Hydrated

WILMINGTON --  Most people drink water when they're finished working out, but its important to be drinking water beforehand.

Since building muscles burns calories, even when your resting, it seems more Americans are lifting weights.  New research shows that there is nothing more important than water when you workout.

University of Connecticut researchers found exercisers who were hydrated before lifting completed 17% more reps per set than lifters who didn't have water.

The study authors found when you're not sufficiently hydrated your central nervous system forces your muscles to slow down.

"You need to have half your ideal body weight in water and for every extra 20 pounds you have you need an extra 5 ounces," said Jennifer Gray, a trainer.

When you're exercising you need more water.  You should drink at least a cup of water for every 20 minutes of strenuous activity.

If you don't like the taste of water, flavored water is your best bet.  Some energy drinks will do the trick too, but watch out for sugar and caffeine because that will dehydrate you.

Reported by Kristy Ondo