Proper hydration is important ALL the time, but especially as the weather heats up we wanted to help you guys out with some tips to make sure you’re getting enough water to fuel you through your workouts.
It’s important to realize that being dehydrated not only affects performance in the gym but ALL of the regular functions of your body. Your body NEEDS water, lots of it, to regulate body temperature and provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. Being chronically dehydrated, even at mild levels, can have negative impacts on your appearance, energy, and cognition – not to mention your performance in the gym.
Okay, you get it, it’s important. So how much do we need to drink? The general rule is to drink about half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water or other hydrating fluids (read: not coffee) per day. For example, a 180 lb. male would want to aim for at least 90 ounces per day of fluids.
This is kind of the bare minimum. You also need to take into account whether you have fluids you need to replenish (activity/sweat level). A good estimate is to add an additional 12-20 ounces of water (based on sweat level) for every hour of exercise you do. So, if the 180 lb. male example above is one of our athletes, we’d want him drinking upwards of 110 ounces on a hot workout day.
GOOD HABITS & TIPS:
- Try to start every morning, within 15 minutes of waking up, with a large glass of water. You can drink it plain or add a little salt and/or lemon juice. With all of the work our body does overnight, we wake up every day in a dehydrated state so this practice will help combat that right away and get your day off to a good start. If you’re a morning WOD person, this is even more important as your workout will further dehydrate you.
- Get a leak-proof water bottle that you love and carry it with you, whether you are working, traveling, or exercising.
- Sip water whenever you’re thirsty throughout the day (if you have a water bottle with you per above, this should be easy!). There is no need to force yourself to drink when you’re not thirsty (there IS actually such a thing as being overly hydrated), but drinking throughout the day will prevent you from having to chug a bunch before/during your workout (nothing worse than that sloshing feeling while jumping around) or before bed (you’ll get better sleep if you’re not getting up multiple times in the night to use the bathroom).
- Experiment with adding lemon, cucumber, mint, or other natural flavors to your water if you get bored with just regular water.
- Attention frequent work travelers or those going on vacation: the low humidity on an airplane can lead to further dehydration. Pay extra attention to replenishing fluids during and after travel, especially if you’ll be working out soon after traveling.
There are lots of recovery drinks and supplements in the market. We encourage you to do some research and determine if any would work for you.
The most common are:
- Kill Cliff
- O2 Brand