Hydration powers greatness. To achieve peak physical and mental performance in your Challenge and your life, proper hydration can’t be overlooked. Getting hydration right means you can train, recover and perform like the champion you are.
As humans, we have a sophisticated network of metabolic pathways that requires water to function. The movement of this water between regions of the body is due to the presence of electrolytes—like sodium, chlorine, potassium and calcium—that help maintain and retain a fluid balance. Adequate hydration maintains blood volume, which is important for the delivery of blood to the active muscles during training and the regulation of body temperature, which allows our bodies to cool faster.
How Much Water Do I Need?
On average, aim for 2-3L per day, or 35-45mL per kilogram body weight. These values are based on an average person, so you’ll have to increase this amount if you exercise at a high intensity for 45 minutes a day or are a heavy sweater. Try some of these tips to increase your water intake:
– Have a glass of water first thing in the morning.
-Take a full bottle to your morning or evening F45 class and drink it throughout the workout. Fill it up again after the class and sip on it until you get home or to work.
-Keep a water bottle with you at work and aim to drink a bottle between arriving and lunch, and then another between lunch and leaving.
The overall aim of your fluid intake is to avoid dehydration. Dehydration not only impairs physical performance, but also concentration and mental performance. Check out 8 hydrating fruits and vegetables in the graphic below.
Let’s Talk Numbers
How much fluid do we need to lose before we start to see an impact? Losing just 2% of body weight through sweat can impact performance, sometimes by up to 10%–and that’s even when you start in a hydrated state! It’s important to hydrate throughout the day in order to maintain energy levels for evening workouts, so you’re not left battling the 3pm slump or talking yourself out of training.
Guidelines for replacing fluids lost through sweat are at 150%. So, if you lose 1kg, then you should aim to drink 1.5L over 4-6 hours to replace it. After a relatively low-intensity training session, water will usually be the best option for fluid replacement, as sports drinks can sometimes counteract an energy deficit. A useful indication for your hydration status is checking the color of urine. Aim to have a pale yellow or straw colour. Keep in mind, though, that some multi-vitamins or supplements may cause a bright yellow color after consumption.
Once you get your hydration in check, your goals will come into a deeper focus. With proper hydration, you will achieve greatness!