Hydrate! by Coach Jenny
Mid-July. 95 Degrees. 70% Humidity. No AC. WOD: 20min AMRAP 200 meter run, 10 bar facing burpees, 10 pull-ups, 20 wall balls. It’s hot and you are sweating more than usual. How do you stay hydrated? Under normal circumstances, the “8 glasses of water a day” would work, but is it enough to stay hydrated in the hot summer days?
Being well hydrated before and after you walk into the gym will allow your body to give all it possibly can in a workout. A good measure of hydration is the color of your urine. If you are drinking enough water during the day, your urine should be a pale yellow color. If it’s darker than pale yellow, than that is usually a sign that you are dehydrated. You can reduce dehydration by preparing in advance and hydrate ahead of time.
Here are some tips for helping you stay hydrated this summer:
When and How Much?
For the average crossfitter, each person should listen to their body. Drink throughout the day. Keep water handy so it is available if you want it, but don’t be a slave to it. Make sure to drink when you are thirsty and never drink to discomfort. A common water recommendation is to take your body weight and divide it by 2 and that is the number of ounces you should shoot for in a day.
Drink 8 ounces of warm or room temperature water in the morning first thing. Your body is dehydrated after a night of sleep, and you will kick start metabolism and curb hunger the rest of the day by starting with water. Add fresh squeezed lemon to make it easier to get down.
If you are preparing for an event then you can increase the dosage by 20% or drink .7 ounces of water per pound of body-weight. But remember, drinking more doesn’t necessarily make us more hydrated.
What To Drink
Water is a nutrient that is too often taken for granted and is crucial for athletes to perform their best. It is imperative for every function in the body: temperature regulation, provides energy, supports metabolism, reduces cramping, and supports the immune system.
While drinking water helps hydrate you, it isn’t the only thing that keeps you hydrated. The body actually need electrolytes to help keep tissue hydrated and to transport water through the walls of the small intestines where 95% of fluid absorption takes place. For max water absorption, the body requires sodium and glucose/sucrose to facilitate water transportation. While we get up to 20% of our hydration needs met through food, we still need to help out by adding some salt into our diets, especially if following a very strict paleo diet. Adding a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of maple syrup to a 16 ounce glass of water can help give you that absorption boost needed when drinking water.
Eating lots of high water-content fruits and vegetables will also add to your hydration!
What about Gatorade or other Sports Drinks?
These drinks are usually carbohydrate dense because they are designed to combine hydration and fueling. They also have undesirable dyes and chemicals that I wouldn’t want in my body. Anything like a lemonade or fruit juice can also be problematic because they too have too much glucose to provide ideal hydration, and can actually have the reverse effect. Once the sugary fluid is in your digestive tract, your body actually draws stored water into the intestine to dilute them. This has a dehydrating effect rather than a re-hydrating effect.
Tired of Water? TRY THIS!
1 cup of coconut water
1 cup of watermelon cubed
Juice from half of a lime
A pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth! Enjoy!