This post, or any post in general has been long overdue. I greatly apologize as trainharlivesmart has truly been slacking. The slacking will most likely continue, but trust that every opportunity I get to bestow valuable information upon you guys, I will do so immediately.
So this brings me to our valuable topic today. HYDRATION. I know a lot of you at the box have heard me screaming the importance of this topic as our class period dwindles down and I'm hoping the majority (hopefully all) of you guys are applying this delicate information to your everyday lives. As the summer closes in, the temperature and humidity skyrocket and as we slowly melt away within our workouts, we begin to lose much more of our fluids then I bet we're taking in. This can be a huge detriment to our performance and simply our overall health. So, let's briefly sidetrack and talk about how important water and proper hydration can be:
-We can live 4x longer without food than without water.
-Our bodies are 70% water
-Every cell, tissue and organ within our bodies needs water to function properly.
-Water aids in our bodies temperature regulation, joint lubrication, digestion, nutrient absorption, waste disposal, heat dispersion, almost every damn thing our body does, water assists.
-Dehydration is even sometimes the culprit for everyday physical nuisances such as:
-Extreme thirst and/or hunger
These are just a few examples of how water works within our bodies. This list could literally go on forever. Don't wait until you're experiencing some of these symptoms before you begin to hydrate. Start early and continue to fill er' up. If you're wondering how much water to consume throughout the day, take your body weight (BW) divide it by 2 and take in that many fluid ounces of water DAILY.
For example, a 200lb man would need to consume 100 fluid ounces of water a day. Now, this only pertains to non-training days, continue reading for training day RE-hydration and other awesome blogging.
If H20 intake and proper hydration is this critical when it comes to everyday life, imagine how vital it must be to us fellow athletes and crossfitters? We tend to be much more active than the typical human being. We damn near base our lives around activity. If we're not properly hydrated, the symptoms I listed above are the least of our worries. Dehydration not only magnifies the problems I've listed above, but also completely affects our overall physical and mental performance. A 2-3% dehydration rate can affect our performance by 10%. That means more time spent huffing and puffing rather than working.
So, hopefully we've been hydrating throughout the day if we plan to exercise later on, preparing our bodies for whatever physical activity lies ahead. But, when we're talking about training, we don't just lose water when we sweat. We lose a lot more than that, with one of the most important elements being electrolytes. This is what leads to muscle cramps, fatigue and sometimes full body shut down. Sometimes when the heat approaches rapidly, our bodies really aren't acclimated to the conditions and it can sometimes be overwhelming in the beginning. Our sweat rate can get out of control and that means we lose more fluids and more fluids faster.
Here's an easy way to find out how much you're actually losing during your workouts. Hop on a scale NAKED before your workout, then simply hop on a scale NAKED after your workout. Take the total lb's lost and for every lb lost, drink 16 oz of water. So, 4 lbs lost = 64 oz of water. This is consumed ON TOP of our daily intake.
We can initially best prep our body to avoid these downfalls by hydrating properly (1/2 body weight in fluid ounces daily) and by also replenishing our electrolytes post exercise or sometimes, depending on the duration of our activity, during exercise and between exercise.
Most potent electrolyte loss begins when you're 90 minutes into activity (anywhere between 500-2000mg). Now, this can all change with the intensity of the activity and how much you are actually sweating. So, you're sweat rate will determine how much you're actually losing. If you look like you just took a shower in your clothes post-warm-up, then you better believe you're losing a lot and you better be replenishing.
Here are a few simple solutions:
- Salt sticks
- Electrolyte tablets (Motor Tabs)
- Coconut water/juice (check out my previous post on Ranch Market 99)
- Pickle juice (Picklepower.com)
With the salt sticks and Motor Tabs, you can break those up and drop them in your water. They'll dissolve and replenish. Try the coconut water post-exercise. I've even tried a scoop of protein with coconut water and it tastes really good. It also serves as a pretty good protein/carbohydrate recovery beverage.
If you haven't heard, pickle juice is an excellent combative against muscle cramping. Possibly the best. With one of it's main ingredients being vinegar, pickle juice seems to do the trick better than any other water or sports drink in replenishing electrolytes and mineral replacement in the muscles. It's a fermented drink that has digestive and vitamin-enhancing benefits without the sweeteners, additives and processing like it's sugary counterparts (Gatorade/Powerade). The pickle juice sounds interesting. I have yet to try it but have only heard good things. Apparently they distribute to HEB! (http://www.picklepower.com/)
So, soak it all up and start drinking early. Replenish you're fluids on training days and if you're prone to cramping and excessive sweating, drink a gallon of pickle juice.