Thirst. Dry Mouth. Parched. We all know what this feels like because we’ve been there—dehydrated, fatigued and feeling ourselves slow down before we’re truly ready to stop.
Adequately hydrating your body is key to optimal training and performance; whether you’re a competitive athlete, gym enthusiast, runner, cyclist or weekend warrior, if you’re not hydrated, everything from your recovery to your results will suffer. More than 70 percent of your body weight, and 80 percent of your brain is made up of H2O, making water a critical part of not only your ideal training protocol, but your healthy lifestyle in general. Our energy levels are greatly impacted by our intake of water. It has been medically proven that just a 5 percent drop in body fluids will cause a 25-30 percent loss of energy in most people. It is also estimated that more than two-thirds of all people do not drink nearly enough water and suffer daily from some degree of dehydration.
Unfortunately, many people turn to stimulants like caffeine, sugar and artificially jacked sports drinks or novelty energy boosters that are available everywhere, from your gas station to your grocery store. These are all strong diuretics that actually cause your body to lose water and dehydrate more quickly.
So how do you know if you are dehydrated?
Some symptoms include: lack of stamina and endurance, muscle cramping, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, lack of sweat, increase in core body temperature, stress, nausea and of course, thirst. Also dark yellow urine is a telltale sign, so take a peek before you flush. The clearer, the better. Here are my top five tips to ditch dehydration and increase your energy and performance:
Don’t wait for thirst and fatigue to set in. When you wake in the morning have a glass of water next to your bed and drink the full glass before you go to the washroom and begin your morning routine.
Once you begin your routine, drink another glass of warm or room-temp water with half a fresh lemon, juiced. The addition of lemon will to help alkalize your blood and body from your night’s rest, and re-establish a solid pH balance to keep you going.
Aim to consume 2-3 L of water during the rest of your day so that dehydration doesn’t have a chance to set in. A great way to do this is to start your day with a smoothie.
DECREASE YOUR INFLAMMATION AND DOUBLE UP ON YOUR
HYDRATION WITH THIS SMOOTHIE RECIPE:
• ½ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
• 1 cup ice
• 1 scoop plant-based protein powder
• ½ cup frozen berries
• 2 handfuls organic spinach
• 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
Blend all ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
Choose the right type of hydrators for your training. Coconut water has long been revered as the perfect way to hydrate because of the fact that when we train, our bodies lose mineral-rich fluids, such as potassium. Coconut water serves up a whopping 810 g of potassium to keep you in balance.