The weather is starting to warm-up now, especially here in Phoenix! Without proper hydration levels many aspects of your performance become hugely affected, for example:
‘A 2% loss of fluid can result in decreased athletic performance by 10-20%.’
Water is used for cooling the body, so a lack of hydration can lead to fatigue, which of course, affects performance. Dehydration of 3% can lead to physiologic dysfunction and increase the chances of a CrossFitter developing an exertional heat illness (i.e. heat cramps, heat exhaustion, even heat stroke).
Water should be your main source of hydration. It can be sparkling and even flavored. But be careful that nothing unhealthy has been added, such as artificial ingredients and flavours. Soda, juice and other ‘soft’ drinks should be avoided since your body won’t allow those liquids to help with hydration until after it processes the soda or excess sugar.
HYDRATION AND ELECTROLYTES
Electrolytes are also necessary for hydration. Most people don’t know it, but you can drink too much water. If all you do is drink water and never supplement with electrolytes, you will deplete your electrolytes stores and that can throw your sodium levels out of balance. If over hydration continues, you might develop hyponatremia (low sodium levels), which can lead to cramping, seizures, nausea and vomiting. So, make sure you supplement your diet with electrolytes, unless you are already eating processed food, which already contain high levels of sodium. I use Salt Sticks and/or pink Himalayan salt sea salt to supplement my electrolytes.
Proper hydration leads to:
- better brain function
- more energy (resulting in better workouts!)
It also helps to prevent:
- headaches among other ailments
There are endless benefits to drinking water, and big disadvantages to not drinking enough.
5 TIPS FOR PROPER HYDRATION:
1. START YOUR DAY WITH WATER
Drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning. By drinking 2 glasses of water when you wake up, you are essentially lubricating your machine (body) and getting things ‘flowing’.
2. HAVE A DAILY GOAL
Set a goal each day for how much you are going to drink. Determine whether you are going to have a hard training day or a lighter one and adjust accordingly. Carry a water bottle and try to drink at least 100 ounces a day, especially in the summer if you are outside a lot or planning to do a hard workout.
3. ADD ELECTROLYTES
Add electrolytes to your water. It can be as easy as adding some pink Himalayan salt to your water, or if you have been very active, add electrolyte mixes such as Salt Stick. Coconut water, for example, can add taste and electrolytes into your diet.
4. CARRY A WATER BOTTLE
Carry water with you, wherever you go. Most of us are busy all day and moving from place to place. Carrying a water bottle will help you to remember to drink.
5. HYDRATE PRIOR TO WORKING OUT
Drink cold water prior to working out. It helps restore hydration levels to your body, improves the performance of your workout, and helps lower your body temperature. This allows you to perform at a higher level before your core body temperature starts to rise.
By following these 5 simple steps to improve your hydration, you will be better prepared for a great WOD, and you will increase your ability to perform well.