Everyone knows that Athletes need to drink enough water in order to perform adequately, but how much water is enough?
"Being dehydrated by only 5-10% can decrease performance in athletes by up to 30%, and being properly hydrated is not as straight forward as just drinking water."
There are severe risks associated with being chronically dehydrated while maintaining a demanding workout regimen, since water flushes toxins out of the body, transports nutrients into the cells and helps regulate body temperature and pH balance, all these processes need to be operating smoothly if you are expecting to perform at your best.
1. How much water should you be drinking?
Divide your body weight by two, you should be drinking at least that number of ounces of water each day. So, if an athlete is 180 lbs, that athlete should drink at least 90 ounces of water. That's 4 and 1/2 Tall glasses (Pints) of water.
2. What electrolytes do you need?
Electrolytes are involved in many essential processes in your body. They play a role in conducting nervous impulses, contracting muscles and keeping you hydrated. Therefore, you need to get an adequate amount of electrolytes from your diet to keep your body functioning as it should.
Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium can help retain fluids, and proper fluid balance contributes to optimal performance. Sodium is an important electrolyte to monitor during training, especially for endurance athletes, since this is the electrolyte that is most depleted during extensive effort.
3. Dehydration Signs and Symptoms
If you wake up with sheet marks on your skin, you are dehydrated. Your skin elasticity suffers when your body doesn't have enough water.
The colour of your urine can also be a great indicator of your general hydration. You don't want your urine to be dark yellow nor clear, somewhere in between, closer to clear.
Also, dry lips, mouth or eyes can also be a sign that your body is not hydrated.
Make sure to find your baseline hydration by taking the appropriate quantity of water and electrolytes for a few days and observing how you feel.
Get a Water Bottle
Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times and fill it. If it's full and close by, you'll drink it. Using triggers to keep you hydrated, such as one full glass as you wake, one full glass before bed and having a water bottle with you all day will make staying hydrated much easier habit to adopt.