Memorial Day weekend 2017 has passed. Let’s assume you had a bit of a cheat weekend and definitely had a couple of adult beverages at that BBQ you went to. You probably spent some quality time with loved ones on the beach, in the sun, or just outside in general (gotta love that vitamin D). Unfortunately, now it’s time to get back to our regular lives, and Tuesday morning you may feel similar to someone who just got hit by a mack truck. You either drag yourself into CrossFit early in that morning or sometime later that day and let’s be honest, you don’t feel like you crushed it after all that holiday fun.
You, my good friend, might be dehydrated!
Somehow between all the burgers, beers, spike ball, and maybe a slip and slide session you forgot to drink some good old fashioned water.
So what do we do now to get you set up for success? First let’s talk about what we should be doing to start.
How much water should I drink? A good starting place is ½ of your bodyweight in ounces each day. So a 180lb male is shooting for 90 ounces and a 120lb female is aiming for 60 ounces. This is of course just a starting point. Going into the hot summer months we may need more considering how hot our workouts, runs, or outdoor activities will be. If you work outdoors that number increases even more to combat the exposure stress.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “That’s a lot of water and much more than I usually drink.”
Here are some tips to help you ensure you’re hitting your ideal H2O intake:
Keep a water bottle with you! Glass or ceramic are the healthiest reusable materials, steel is next in line, plastic is last but better than nothing!
Know how many times you need to finish your bottle to hit your total! PRO TIP- put multiple rubber bands around your bottle and move 1 band from the top to the bottom after completing a bottle. Now you won’t lose track throughout the day!
Get your morning glass of water! Make sure to have a glass of water in the morning (sea salt and lemon make this tasty and good for your adrenals) this is going to make sure you don’t fall behind and feel like you need to chug a gallon of water after dinner.
Things that do and DO NOT COUNT towards this total:
Things that count:
- Water with fruit/veggies infused by you at home
- Water with lemon, sea salt and a small splash of apple cider vinegar (for the AM)
- Carbonated water with NO additives (home carbonating machines are available if bubbles are your thing)
Things that DO NOT count:
- Coffee/tea (sorry, caffeine junkies!)
- Fruit juices, veggie juices, smoothies
- Sport drinks
- Energy drinks
- Alcohol of all kinds
- Pre- and post-workout drinks (BCAAS, protein shakes, Fitaids/KillCliffs)
If you’ve had enough of me babbling on about water and this has you motivated to get your hydration on, then great! I’ve done my job and you are on your way to better health, energy, and mental clarity this summer. Not to mention better workouts! If you want to know more about the other things that will improve with adequate hydration, read on!
The benefits of hydration:
- Increased organ function: happy organs make us feel better and live longer lives
- Increased athletic performance: who doesn’t want to feel like they crushed their wod? Better workouts lead to better results and happy CrossFitters
- Optimal detoxification of the body: we break up a lot of junk in our body when we do intense exercise and it’s important to be able to mobilize and get rid of that junk!
- Improved gastro function/digestion: the more of our food we can absorb the better we feel, perform, and recover
- Better mental acuity in the afternoon: want to crush more work late in the day or just have energy for that workout or to spend quality time with friends or family? Drink that good ol’ H2O!
The negatives of dehydration:
- Chronic bloating and holding water are common: this bloating is also connected to detoxification so can’t get that waste out of our body.
- Increased stress on the body (cortisol): your body can only handle so much stress (good or bad, it makes no difference); save that stress tolerance for other things (maybe your WOD)
- Lowers efficiency in performing mental tasks (especially in the afternoon): mental power probably keeps you safe at work, makes you money at work, or makes your life more fulfilled with your loved ones. Less of this mental power can lead to problems in these key areas of life.
- Heart rate will spike doing even the most simple physical tasks: feel like you’re a fit person but you just walked the laundry up your stairs and it feels similar to getting off the air bike? Drop the laundry and have a glass of water.
- Waking up feeling groggy or almost hung over: no one wants to start the day on the wrong side of the bed. Getting hydration in line is one less thing that can lead to a slow start to your day.