Some might be inclined to giggle in response to this question, but it can be a pressing issue! In fact, some studies have shown that over 50% of women who work out heavily, or regularly, are likely to experience the recurring need to urinate in response to the stress that a routine workout places upon their bodies. So, in short, how often should you pee?
It's called stress urinary incontinence, it results from pressure being put on the bladder, and statistics suggest that you're actually more likely to experience this effect than not – once you really start pushing yourself to excel.
This is often associated with women who have given birth, but a woman who has never had children is also vulnerable to this condition – particularly during intense forms of personal training, such as with CrossFit. A somewhat smaller, but still statistically significant percentage of men experience the same thing. If you're just following our ab workouts for women recovering from pregnancy, you shouldn't experience this, for example.
Assuming that “not excelling” isn't a preferable option for you, what can you do about it? Also, how often should you be using the bathroom during a workout? Using the facilities interrupts your routine. It can affect your vibe, and may require you to spend time working yourself back up into your optimum personal rhythm.
To Pee or Not to Pee: How to Stop SUI
The way to nip stress urinary incontinence in the bud is twofold.
First, and most simply, you need a dormant or “resting” bladder. If SUI is an issue for you, watch how much you drink before and during a workout. You can time your rehydration, as needed, to correspond to a bathroom break towards the end of your workout, but keep it to a minimum. Too much fluid intake during a heavy workout isn't all that healthy to begin with, as it can result in cramps and nausea.
If you're still feeling a particular urge to pee, particularly if the feeling seems to go away by the time you actually make it to the restroom – or what comes out isn't nearly enough to justify how you felt before you got there – you need to focus on a few exercise that strengthen certain muscle groups.
Pelvic floor muscle training can help to improve strength and muscular control in this frequently-neglected area over time. Pointedly, this information can also be of benefit to men who wish to maintain their pelvic area as well; it's part of a well-rounded series of exercises meant to contribute to a total body fitness approach.
How Often to Break for the Restroom:
Many women can get through a workout session without needing to use the restroom. Generally speaking, you shouldn't have to “go” more than once or twice within a relatively brief period of time.
If you're only working out for an hour or two per day, frequent visits to the bathroom may be an indicator of another physiological issue. You should consult with a doctor, preferably either a gynecologist or a urologist, especially if this need for frequent urination is persistent – outside of when you're actually working out.