Top 10 for 10: Hydration
Water Up! All the cells in you body are made up of water. Water is necessary for all of bodies functions. Without water we die. Water is necessary for transport of nutrients and elimination of wastes. It’s key for staying focused and can prevent headaches and fatigue. Generally speaking aim for 2.0-3.0L of water and herbal teas, daily, maybe more if you are exercising or training more than 2 hours per day on a regular basis.
Tips for success:
- If you are not quite at the goal of 2 L per day yet, start slow and increase water intake slowly.
- Set an alarm in your smart phone or calendar or just write it down in your journal
- Start your morning off with a glass of water before you have any thing else
- Keep a jug or bottle of water on your desk at work so you see it and remember to drink.
- Low on energy? Drink water before that next cup of coffee.
- Headache? Drink water before you try that pain / headache medication.
- Feeling hungry and you just ate? Drink a glass of water and see if it passes.
- Like alcohol? Drink water between each drink so you don’t dehydrate as fast.
- Don’t like plain water? Add in fresh lemon, lime, cucumbers, mint, basil, strawberries or try herbal teas to change the flavour and spice it up a bit. Substitute 1 glass of water for some sparkling mineral water.
Water & Exercise
You need water for energy. Water enters the Krebs Cycle (Grade 10 bio anyone?) 3 times as we create ATP. No water = no energy!
Fact: Thirst isn’t perceived until you are 1-2% dehydrated while exercising, so drinking according to thirst may not be your best practice especially if you aren’t used to it.
Make water your ticket to train! Make sure you start all workouts in a hydrated state. When dehydrated you can’t perform at your best and you increase risk for injury, such as muscle tears or strains. Water and adequate hydration is necessary to maintain core body temperature, provide joint lubrication and shock absorption as well as to maintain heart rate. When you are dehydrated your performance suffers!
- Consume 2-4 cups of water in the 2-4 hour window leading up to your workout.
- For workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes make sure you carry water and consume 1/2 to 1 cup of water every 15 – 20 minutes to prevent dehydration or approximately 500-750ml/hr
- Consume another 2-4 cups of water in the 2-4 hour window post workout to replace the water lost during exercise. If you have been training longer than 3 hours, you may want to consider adding sodium aka salt or electrolytes to your during workout and post workout water.