Water acts as a transporter of nutrients, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints and internal organs, provides structure to cells and tissues, and can help preserve cardiovascular function. Water deficits can impact physical performance. Dehydration develops from inadequate fluid intake or excessive fluid losses.
Avoid Sweating. Stay Cool
To get hydrated requires water and minerals in good proportion. In fact, very few people know how to do it right. Most folks just drink a lot of water and then go to the toilet. So, if you get some water in your organs, keep it.
Every time you feel warm, take off a layer of your clothes. If you have one.
A shirt full of sweat means a litre of water waste. Half litre on the shirt and half litre gone with the breath. If you live in a hot and humid climate, a good heavy training can double the waste. And 2 litres are 2-3% of the average person’s weight. Such dehydration leads to 30% drop of performance and even muscle cramps.
If you feel uncomfortable training shirtless, then maybe you think that a shirt full of sweat is very aesthetic. Think twice. And don’t let puritanism interfere with your health.
Stay In The Airflow
The ideal training temperature is between 18-22°C. If the temperature where you train is higher, try to find a place where there is a current of air – near a fan or a window. If out of the gym is colder and you can go outside during your rest periods – do it.
This study demonstrated that mildly dehydrated subjects could reach hydration within 45 minutes of the ingestion of 600 ml of water or salt-water or a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution.
Drink 2-3 litres a day. Add a litter when training
Before or during the workout it’s good to start your rehydration. Don’t drink more than a litre in an hour. More water will make you feel discomfort and will not have time to get absorbed – you will go to the toilet.
Drink Water With Salt
Liquids provide valuable fluids for rehydration (and an ideal recovery beverage) should (not only contain carbohydrate and protein but also) contain electrolytes, including about 0.3–0.7 g sodium per liter fluid to help restore sodium lost through sweat.
The ideal rehydration and recovery beverage is broth. But let’s discuss an easier one – salty water.
To restore water and sodium in your body, put 2-3 grams of salt (sodium chloride) in a litre of water. If your salt has a decreased amount of sodium, double it. And better buy real salt.
For better taste I put 5 grams of lemon juice or vinegar in my water. The acid makes the solution a real electrolyte. Don’t put carbohydrates in your water, because they will cause a peak and then a drop of your blood sugar. And you don’t want that drop which is a mild hypoglycemia.
Drink Mineral Water
Overhydration can result from excessive water (or fluid) intake with or without proper electrolyte replacement.
To get hydrated your body needs minerals. That’s why the mineral water is the right one. The proper mineralisation means Ca > 50 mg/l, Mg > 20 mg/l, HCO3 > 250 mg/l, F < 0.5 mg/l. One of the best mineral waters in the world and available in Australia is Evian. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s worth it. If there’s another brand with similar mineralization, please tell me. Back in Europe there are many good mineral waters at lower prices.
Demineralised Water is Bad
It has been adequately demonstrated that consuming water of low mineral content has a negative effect on homeostasis mechanisms, compromising the mineral and water metabolism in the body.
Demineralised water includes so called “spring water”, “table water”, and the regular tap water. Lower its consumption or better stop it completely.
Beverages containing caffeine as coffee, black tea, white tea lead to dehydration. It’s better to lower their consumption.
Despite the fact there are scientific papers claiming that coffee has little or no effect on body fluids, my experience with espresso shows that coffee does dehydrate.