Updated: Aug 20, 2021
What is Hydration:
The process of combining a substance chemically with water molecules. In other words, being hydrated means you have an efficient amount of water in your body to allow chemical changes to hydrate your body as a whole.
Why is Hydration so Important?
Hydration is the number one underrated component of athletes' success. Proper hydration will increase performance, overall health, and recovery time too! It will also decrease the chances of getting injured. When it comes to hydration you will want to factor in your body weight because water will be turned into blood and fluids in the body. The better hydrated you are the better your body will be able to regulate your temperature. This can lead to being able to perform better as an athlete because you are able to sustain higher temperatures while exercising. In addition, hydration will increase lubrication in the tissues, joints, and ligaments which is important because, as athletes, we put a lot of stress on our joints, tissues, and ligaments, so we need to make sure we are lubricating them by being fully hydrated. Hydration will support healthy bowel movement resulting in smoother and painless pooping. It will form saliva and mucus for healthy airway and month health. Drinking plenty of water will boost skin health and beauty. Staying hydrated will add cushion to the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues in the body. Lastly, staying hydrated will help maintain blood pressure and blood health. As you can see, being hydrated is a huge component of our health and well being.
How Much Do We Need to Drink?
There are so many different points of view on how much water an individual needs to consume. Base on our studies and research we have come to the conclusion that the most effective way to determine the proper amount of water intake is to factor in two things; your body weight and physical activity level. Now the question still lies in how much water do we need to drink? Every day we breathe, sweat, urinate and have bowel movements, which all contribute to water leaving the body. As a result, our body will need water consumption regardless of exercise or not. Please note, 80% of water consumption will come from drinking fluids and 20% comes from eating. We have come to a conclusion to determine the amount of water needed to be consumed by an individual without any physical activity. You will want to multiply your body weight by 40% and the total equals the number of ounces you will need to drink every day, no matter the number of activities you do. For example, I am 198 pounds. multiply by 40% (198 x 4) = 79.2 ounces of water. Now that we know how much we need to drink regardless of our physical activity, let's talk about how much more we need to drink in order to maintain and stay hydrated with exercise.
Hydration with Exercise:
The amount you will need to consume in total for each day will be your bodyweight calculation plus your activity level. Let's take the example above. I am 198 pounds multiplied by 40% which equals 79.2 ounces plus the one-hour activity of 32-48 ounces of water equaling 111.2-127.2 ounces of water I would need to drink today for my body weight and one hour of physical activity, so I can maintain a healthy amount of water to stay hydrated.
Great Game Day Hydration Routine!
For many years it has been taught to us that it takes up to two days for our body to be fully hydrated; however, new and recent studies show that it takes between 120-240 minutes to become hydrated after the proper amount of consumption of water. Due to this new study, gives us a better understanding of how we can make sure we are truly hydrated before doing physical activity. The best practice and way to ensure you are hydrated you will want to follow the 36-16-8 rule, which is to drink 36 ounces of water 3 hours prior to physical activity. Then drink another 16 ounces 2 hours prior to physical activity. Lastly, you will need to drink another 8 ounces from the last hour to physical activity. This will make sure you are hydrated before physical activity but you will want to continue to drink another 6-8 ounces throughout physical activity every fifteen minutes.
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