From the WebMD Archives
By Carrie Sloan
Starting a new workout routine can be great — unless your arms are so sore you can’t wash your hair afterwards. No one should have to walk around with dirty hair or have to sit out the Wave at sporting events, so we turned to two experts — one who leads punishing SoulCycle classes for a living, and a trainer who counsels the New York Yankees — to find out their secrets to becoming exercise buffs who can still get out of bed the next day.
1. Hydrate with coconut water. Ever wonder why your muscles cramp? One common cause is actually dehydration, not exhaustion. To combat this, you need to begin drinking fluids before you start your workout, and keep sipping throughout. “It always starts with hydration,” says Tomas Mikuzis, a SoulCycle instructor in New York City. “Hydration is the key before, during and after a workout.”
In fact, if you’re hydrating with pure water, he recommends upping the ante: “The new thing now is raw coconut water, which helps you hydrate even more by replacing the electrolytes you lose through sweat,” he says. “I always drink it after class.”
2. Eat a banana before you leave the house. Never exercise on an empty stomach. “I highly suggest eating some potassium,” says Jon Koga, a physical therapist who also founded the sport of Koga, a fusion of kickboxing and yoga, loved by everyone from Megan Fox to Dr. Oz.
“One banana an hour prior to any vigorous workout is absolutely going to help with muscle cramping,” he says. “The potassium will get distributed into the bloodstream right away, and it’s one of the best sources of nutrition in terms of limiting the lactic acid that makes your muscles ache.”