Having a proper hydration is known to be very important for our health. But most people consistently get less water than they should throughout the day. Professional athletes are famously dehydrated and they have to take care of their body for a job. So chances are you might be neglecting your hydration as well.
While the health benefits of drinking the recommended amount of water are well known, the benefits of hydration regarding training are not so commonly understood. Your ability to perform at your highest level, recover at a quick rate and keep your energy levels up depends on your hydration.
Water Is Your Body
Most of your body is made up of water. It needs water to be in balance, to lubricate your joints and to be a part of almost all chemical reactions. Energy isn’t promptly delivered, muscles cramp and performance is decreased whenever we don’t drink enough fluids during, before and after exercise.
Water Helps with Pain
Studies have found that proper hydration increases pain tolerance and decreases perception. That is especially important when we workout. If you are either trying to gain muscle mass or lose weight, or both, you can benefit from being able to train longer and harder.
Water Speeds Up Recovery
It’s not enough to train longer and harder, if you need to take 2 days off after because you are too sore. Water can help you recover faster. Just like mentioned before, water helps your blood do a better job at delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Similarly it helps blood remove toxins and waste out of your muscles, aiding in your recovery.
So how much water should we drink?
As a rule of thumb, drinking ½ of your bodyweight in ounces is a good start. But this is a minimum requirement for people that do not need extra hydration. If you are active, if you workout hard, if you workout for a long time, or if you have a busy lifestyle you will need a bigger fluid intake.
- For every hour of exercise, drink an extra 15 ounces of water throughout the day.
- If you can weigh yourself, for every pound you lose after working out drink 16 to 20 ounces of water.
- If you sweat a lot during workouts, drink 10 ounces of water 15 minutes before starting to workout.
- Hydration can come in many ways: coffee, flavored water, tea, protein shakes, sports drinks. Just make sure that you account for what those drinks come with (sugar, calories, etc.)
Looking for more guidance in your nutrition, recovery or overall health? Come chat with your Celebration CrossFit coaches and let’s figure out how we can help you!
By Coach Matt