Monday, May 27, 2013

Drink Water Much?

Man it was hot out this Memorial day weekend and with summer coming quick in Hilton Head it's time to throw out a reminder on Hydration. Before we get started, I want to commend Head Coach of CFHH, Craig Hysell on a phenomenally well-written blog, Are You Exercising or Are you Training? If you have 5minutes its worth your time. Especially if your an athlete who can't understand why your not progressing. Piggy backing on Coach Craig, hydration differs from the every day exerciser to someone who is training. Folks who are exercising typically don't think about their fluid intake those who are seriously training put hydration on a pedestal. It's really that hidden tool in the shed for so many folks in life and training.

What makes hydration so important? How long can you go without food? A week, two weeks its about a month actually. Now how about water? Try 1-3days tops. Fluids account for about 50-60% of body weight and when it comes to lean tissue (meaning organs, muscles, anything other than fat) its about 72-75%. That's right your lungs and heart need water to function.
 Why else is it important? 
Well before we even start the sexy list, number one has to be just a mere 2% dehydration of the body WILL reduce performance of an athlete. Other fun facts...
  • Water helps transfer glucose, oxygen and fats to the muscles - Muscles need energy to contract folks, make sense? 
  • Eliminates waste products - gets the bad stuff out!
  • Absorbs heat from your working muscles - meaning they contract better ... see a theme? 
  • Regulates body temperature - mechanism is important especially you endurance athletes who enjoy the summer race scene
 This one's from back in the day, but don't let hydration get the upper hand on your mobility...

Did you know that research shows that 9 out of 10 College football players step onto the field at mild dehydration levels? That means it's an every level of athlete kind of thing. What's most important here is that if you're really TRAINING this post is important to you. Nutrition - Hydration - Electrolytes need to all be treated separately. You have to track this stuff because as we all not at the base of performance lies Nutrition. I just started training a younger athlete whose a top the ranks of our Bluffton Cross Country Team and this was one of the first questions I asked. How's the hydration? How many ounces are you getting in per day? It seems like the smallest of tweaks, but by nailing down a focus on it and treating it separately in training is key.

Coaches out there don't let your athletes get away with poor hydration or an electrolytes imbalance. One of the most common symptoms is irritability. Do you really want irritable athletes? You're the first line of defense guys. Here are a few quick tips for everyone TRAINING out there...

1. Weigh yourself before and after a workout (endurance athletes hit a 60min TT run) for every lbs. you lose from your body weight drink at least 16ounces to replenish.

2. Sell water bottles and electrolytes at your gym. We're working on getting our Endurance team some sweet water bottles so they not only drink more water, but advertise to the public when their not telling their friends how awesomer their workouts are.

3. Avoid them beers and shots at the bar. I know this is tough one for most. Myself included, but if you're really dedicated in the heart of training say at least a month out. Shut it down. I've got Muncie 70.3 coming up July 13th and  I'm in that boat. What are you willing to do to achieve your goals is always the question?

That's a wrap gang. Don't forget that usually the bigger the challenge smaller the solution and the smaller the change the greater the impact...

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