You’ve heard me talk about it before! In my treatment room as well as the odd post here and there on Facebook to remind you about staying hydrated.
I knew I have let my own hydration levels slip. When I went for a short two mile run after my workout last week and I STRUGGLED so much. I was racking my brain why this was such a difficult run compared to other runs. Then I realised that I had only had one glass of water that morning before exercising… and yes hydration levels can be effected that quickly. It took me the rest of the day to get on top of my water intake. As with so many things, prevention is always better than the cure.
If you’ve been for a sports massage with me, I give you a bottle of water to drink before anything else happens and here is why.
Technical Bit – Staying Hydrated
Sports Massage, as you know, is a manipulation of the soft tissues of your body to aid their healing and recovery as well as maintain their suppleness. Manipulating your muscles becomes very tricky if you are dehydrated. This is because muscles are about 79% water… now imagine trying to massage dehydrated muscles…. Ouch.
In fact the entire human body is approximately 60% water and we lose about 0.5l a day to normal sweating. Around 240ml through exhalation (yes, really!) and roughly 1.5l through elimination. It’s not just water we lose, there are electrolytes that are lost with the water. This is why it is important to rehydrate and nourish correctly after a strenuous exercise session. As well as maintaining good hydration throughout even the laziest of days….and don’t we all know about lazy days at the moment!
Warmer Weather – Staying Hydrated
The last few days have been wonderful in their temperature, however it often takes the people of Britain by surprise and as such I do see an upturn of injuries in my treatment room, in normal circumstances, due to the lovely weather tempting people out of hibernation and into the great outdoors. Dehydration often plays a big part in the upturn of injuries, as often your water intake will remain the same even though you are more physically active, then add on top of that the higher temperatures than normal and you have a perfect storm for dehydration to occur which then can lead to injury.
Effects of dehydration on your body can be slightly different from person to person, but some you could expect to experience; a decrease in your exercise performance, increase in pain in the body, especially if you already suffer from a painful condition, headaches, brain fog, constipation as well as increased stress levels.
Think about how much more difficult it is to maintain good form if you experience a brain fog and you get distracted away from paying attention to the exercise you are performing; so your foot lands awkwardly or your squat breaks form and voila, an injury has occurred. The pain will be more intense too if you are dehydrated.
What can you do to solve a possible hydration problem? How do you know if you’re hydrated enough? Here is some information to help you on your way.
Tips on Hydration
- Hunger is often the first sign of thirst
- If you’re thirsty, or parched, you’re already dehydrated
- Sip to rehydrate as glugging could dilute your electrolytes, leaving you feeling light headed
- Try to keep a bottle of water with you everywhere you go
- Drink regularly from waking to bedtime
- Roughly 2l of water a day though differs if you’re petite, inactive, a bodybuilder etc
- Have a 2l bottle at home and drink from that to remind you how much you have to go
- Increase intake of water when increasing activity
- Teas, Coffees and other drinks aren’t counted towards your water intake
- Fruits and Veggies are helpful with hydration as well as containing electrolytes
- Don’t suddenly increase your water but do it gradually
- Urine should be pale yellow in colour, indication good hydration
- Visits to the loo should be between 7-14 times a day
- Clear urine indicates over hydration, ease off a bit!
And if you are unsure about why your muscles ache, or an injury occurred, please do get in touch!