One thing that we all know is important to training and to general life is hydration.
We all know that we need water as humans and it is the biggest life source we rely upon. It is multifaceted as to why we need water and I am sure many of you know the basic principles so we won’t bore you with a basic science lesson. But what we do need to look at is what you are drinking, when you are drinking and how much you are drinking. All these can have a huge impact upon how you feel and how you perform.
Hydration is probably the easiest thing to change when it comes to nutrition and the biggest influence when going round for round. So how much should you be drinking – during camp and in the lead up to the fight we would recommend that you drink 1 litre of water for every 20kgs (roughly) of body weight and this should just be sipped throughout the day as opposed to consuming a litre at a time. You should always start and finish your day with a big glass of water to really boost everything and keep you hydrated whilst you sleep.
The next question is what should we be drinking? Water is water right? Ok so if I told you the water quality over the past 50-60 years was under a third of the quality it used to be you’d probably just say, well its still wet so what’s changed….?? There is absolutely nothing in tap water at all. It is treated with a large number of chemicals in order to kill bacteria and micro organisms for example; liquefied chlorine, fluorosilicic acid, aluminum sulphate to name a few. It also travels through pipes (dating back to Victorian times!) to get to us many of which are underground and considerable old so there is no guarantee that it arrives to you clean.
There has been over 300 man made chemicals detected in British tap water, 20 of which are to be found in weed killer. Studies have also been released showing that our tap water contains high levels of the female hormone estrogen. This happens by millions of women taking the contraceptive pill or HRT and it not then being filtered out of our water. We could talk about the downside of tap water all day but what you need to take away from this is that bottled water is by far your only option.
Why is it so important to drink bottled water? The way water works for us is it carries electrolytes around our body, electrolytes are salts that when dissolved in water split into molecules called ions. The one most common in our bodies is sodium chloride, table salt. What the ions do is allow electrical impulses to travel with in our body. This allows our muscles to contract, so drink up and make sure the heart is given the help it needs! It also aids digestion, helps us to recover quicker, flushes out toxins and helps maintain your focus.
Lastly when we look at hydration we can see the obvious impact on our performance, but also from not consuming enough it can massively effect your skin and hair, you may suffer from flaky or dry skin, increase the hydration and gut health (the next blog post) and these are sure to clear up. Being dehydrated can lead your body to think that it is suffering from stress and sends your body into emergency mode .
Some liquid for thought right there!