Hydration for the Athlete

US Sumo open 2014Ask anyone. Seriously, ask any two people and you’ll get two different answers. How much water are we supposed to drink each day, especially as athletes? We all know how important hydration is. It affects our sleep, our health, ability to concentrate, and our athletic performances. So why is it that so many of us don’t take it seriously? We’ve all heard the standard 8, 8oz glasses of water, but how accurate is that? It turns out that 64 oz of water per day is low for both men and women. I confess, I’m guilty. I count the 12 oz latte I drink in the morning as ounces toward my daily water goal, and still come up woefully short. I contribute this to many things, one of which is not being sure about how much H2O we are really shooting for. It’s tricky, especially when you’re adding WODs into the mix. The reason why there are so many options out there is that there are so many factors that affect hydration including temperature, gender, age and workouts. Due to the a CrossFit athlete’s daily life, I thought it best to go with a source that would take into account intense workouts.

So, drum roll please:

Here is what the National Academy of Sports Medicine says about water consumption. A sedentary male would have to consume 3.0 L of water, or 101.44 oz, in order to stay hydrated. A sedentary female would need to consume 2.2 L or 74.4 oz. That’s a lot. How about for athletes? So take that number and then add 16-24 oz of water for every lb of weight lost during exercise (including water weight of course). Interested to see how much that is in any given workout? Weigh yourself before class starts next time you’re end the gym, and again when you’re about to leave (without drinking water– just for the experiment). You’ll be surprised!

You can read more about this on NASM’s blog post on hydration  

Here are some tips that might help you drink more water:

Struggle with feeling like water is boring? Cut up various kinds of fruit or veggies in the morning and put them in your water bottle. I suggest citrus fruits like lime or oranges. Cucumbers are great for this as well.

If you tend to lose count of how many oz you’ve consumed, try putting hair ties on your water bottle to represent how many you would need to drink in the day to get your fill. Move each band up the bottle as you finish. You can do the same concept with one hair tie, and use bobby pins as the counters.

Another trick is to drink one full glass of water before you start eating each meal or snack. This helps you reach your water goals and also helps you feel full faster during mealtime.

Have some other good hydration tips? Post them in the reply box below.

Happy hydrating!

FullOut CrossFit Coach Leah

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