Did you know? Dehydration of just 2% of body weight causes performance declines in workouts. We want to stay on top of hydration needs, especially in hot, humid conditions or at high elevations.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration is a harmful reduction of the amount of water in the body. Optimal hydration helps moisten body tissues like the eyes, nose, and mouth, while also assisting in body temperature regulation through sweat and transporting things like nutrients and oxygen in blood. In other words, hydration is important!
How does dehydration affect performance?
Ultimately, dehydration decreases performance! When we are dehydrated the blood is thicker, which puts more stress on the heart. Core temperature is elevated as well because sweat decreases.
How do I know if I’m hydrated?
Signs of dehydration – dizziness, overly fatigued, irritable, nausea, dark urine, little to no urine output after activity, performance decline
Practical steps for optimal hydration
- All the time- Drink half your body weight each day outside of activity
- Pre-training- Drink slowly 13-20 oz (5-7 ml/kg of body weight) at least 4 hours before exercise. If urine isn’t produced in that time, slowly drink more (3-5 ml per kg of body weight) 2 hours prior.
- Just before training- drink 7-10 ounces in the 10 – 20 minutes prior to exercise.
- During training- Drink 7-10 ounces every 15-20 minutes to maintain <2% reduction in body weight.
- Post-training- Replace sweat loss by 100-150%, drink 16-24 ounces of fluid per every pound lost. Regardless of wether body weight was measured or not, immediately begin hydrating slowly and consistently.
Set a reminder, eat fruits and veggies with high water content, add fruit or herbs when you’re tired of water, make a smoothie or slushie, try out a new water bottle
DIY Sports Drink Recipe
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 2 cups coconut water
- ½ tsp salt
How to Check Hydration by Urine color
WUT – “WUT” is a tool for measuring hydration first thing in the morning.
- The “W” in WUT stands for weight. Ideally weight should be within 1% of the normal weight each morning. If there are larger fluctuations greater than 1% of your weight, you likely need to hydrate.
- The “U” stands for urine- if urine is dark first thing in the morning or there is reduced frequency- you may be dehydrated.
- The “T” stands for thirst = waking up with dry mouth or craving fluids