It’s that time of year again, it’s nice and warm and everyone wants to soak it up. But when the heat goes up, so does your sweat rate. I can imagine we will all make a few sweat angels on the box floor in the next few months. Losing your water supply through sweat is all part of the exercise cooling process but it takes a toll on our workouts and our bodies - more than you imagine.
According to Sports Nutrition: 2ndEdition, exercise performance is decreased even if you are dehydrated by as little as 2% of your body weight. Water losses of more than 5% body weight can decrease your work output by about 30%. Imagine a simple workout that should take you 20 minutes, taking you 26 minutes because you weren’t hydrated properly.
The ability to perform high-intensity exercise (CrossFit) is reduced by as much as 45% by having prior dehydration! This is a drastic decrease in performance.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you avoid dehydration and keep you performing at your highest level.
1. Drink, Drink, Drink – You should drink all day long. There are all kinds of recommendations for how much fluid you should intake. From my experience, checking your urine seems to work best. If you are going #1 before the workout and you are raining clear, then you are good to go!
2. Carry it with you – If you are someone who takes their fitness seriously, you should have a water bottle with you at all times. Even if you aren’t thirsty, your goal should be to drink all day. Not only will this help you stay hydrated, it will help decrease your appetite as well.
3. Make it count – Drink the proper fluids. Sodas and juices are full of sugar which is tough to digest and can decrease the ability for your body to function properly. Stick with water or a low calorie electrolyte beverage of your choice to keep you hydrated and ready to perform.
4. Eat right – Drinking properly is important, but don’t forget about the proper food choices as well to make it a perfect combination.
I hope this helps illustrate the importance of proper hydration in combination with functional exercise. Stay cool during the hot summer and if you have any questions, feel free to ask myself or any of your awesome CrossFit Shear Force coaches!