ALL ABOUT HYDRATION
We can’t live without water; it’s the most critical nutrient you provide you body.
So, if we can’t live without water, imagine how not enough water can affect your training and performance in the gym?!
Think about the last time you went too long without water…How did you feel?
Not drinking enough water of course causes thirst and dehydration, but it also can affect your brain function, your ability to focus and concentrate, can make you feel unmotivated, tired, and sluggish…all things that can prevent you from getting the most out of your training for the day or worse, prevent you from even making it into the gym at all…gasp!!
Although water doesn’t provide energy the same way fats or carbohydrates do, it is a vital platform for energy reactions and metabolic processes to take place.
Without enough water intake pre (and post) workout, you easily become dehydrated, lethargic, cramp more often, and suffer in your work capacity, strength and endurance.
Additionally, high quality H2O is necessary for muscle building, strengthening and endurance. Muscles are made primarily of water, and therefore, require water in order to be at their optimal peak.
By consuming water, you not only help your body with easier delivery of nutrients and electrolytes to your cells and muscles, but you also inhibit improvements in the strength of your muscle’s contractions and muscle response time (think: fast twitch and quick bursts of power output, as well as muscular endurance to withstand multiple deadlift reps during an 8-minute ascending ladder).
Lastly, water consumption helps waste and toxins from the muscles and body, meaning improved recovery.
Here are 10 tips to increase your hydration in the warmer months.
#1. Shoot for half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day.
This is a good place to start as the minimum.
#2. Drink at least an 8oz glass of water upon waking up.
If you start your day with water first, you’re already ahead of the game and you set the precendent to drink more water throughout the day.
#3. Drink water before taking a drink of any other beverage.
Before you take a drink of coffee, take a drink of water first. Thinking of a soda, tea, beer or other beverage, take a drink of water first or drink 8 ounces and then have your next drink.
#4. Carry a water bottle that you can keep track of throughout the day.
Get one with ounces listed on the bottle or know how many ounces are in the bottle. Tally each time you refill the bottle.
#5. Set an alarm on your phone every 1-2 hours to drink water.
Sometimes we all need a reminder to drink more water. Doing this for at least two weeks will help to create the habit of drinking water regularly throughout the day.
#6. Treat it like a workout, every hour on the hour you must drink 7oz or water ;).
Sometimes a good challenge is what we need to up our water intake.
#7. Make it a habit to drink water before, during, and after your workout.
You should be adding an extra 20 ounces of water for each hour of activity you complete.
#8. Add lime or lemon to your water if you need some flavor or get bored with water.
Stick to zero calorie and sugar flavor additives.
#9. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water.
Waiting until you’re thirsty could be an indicator that you are already dehydrated.
#10. Add electrolytes
Supplement with a little sodium (500mg), potassium (200mg), magnesium(50mg), and calcium (50mg) once a day in peak heat season to maximize your water absorption. It’s easiest to get all 4 from an electrolyte supplement like LMNT, Tailwind or Liquid IV.