This may be news to some of you but we are starting to see a slight uptick in the temperature over the past few weeks. I know that it may be hard to believe as the box can be easily confused with having an Oceanfront feel in some tropical island, but I can assure you, the heat is starting to play a factor in your workouts. Now that it is miserably hot and humid, hydration will start to play a key role in your daily routines….or you will suffer the consequences.
Every time I talk about hydration, I can’t help but remember the Marine Corps. We were given no options on hydration….we would fill our canteens, what seemed like hourly, and then be forced to hydrate. Once these few minutes were over, we would then be told to turn them upside down over our heads to prove that the water indeed was gone. A part of me thinks this would be a brilliant addition to Vitality and most likely would solve all of our hydration issues…but those days are long gone and now this whole, “politically correct” stone that I have turned over keeps me from these types of mandatory checks and balances.
To me, this doesn’t need to get too complicated with ratios and equations that show how much performance you will lose by being dehydrated, I tend to look at the more important factors…such as the below that was taken from the Mayo Clinic (Read as…someone a lot smarter than us)
Dehydration can lead to serious complications, including:
- Heat injury. If you don’t drink enough fluids when you’re exercising vigorously and perspiring heavily, you may end up with a heat injury, ranging in severity from mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke.
- Swelling of the brain (cerebral edema). Sometimes, when you’re getting fluids again after being dehydrated, the body tries to pull too much water back into your cells. This can cause some cells to swell and rupture. The consequences are especially grave when brain cells are affected.
- Seizures. Electrolytes — such as potassium and sodium — help carry electrical signals from cell to cell. If your electrolytes are out of balance, the normal electrical messages can become mixed up, which can lead to involuntary muscle contractions and sometimes to a loss of consciousness.
- Low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock). This is one of the most serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.
- Kidney failure. This potentially life-threatening problem occurs when your kidneys are no longer able to remove excess fluids and waste from your blood.
- Coma and death. When not treated promptly and appropriately, severe dehydration can be fatal.
So Instead of placing percentages of performance drops due to dehydration, let’s simplify this a bit. Hydrate or risk coming down with a nasty case of one of the above. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy my kidneys and would like them to keep working for me. I sure as hell don’t want to be in the hospital and have the guy next to me say, “Hey, what happened to you”? and have to tell him that I was an idiot and didn’t drink enough water. Really? Is it that hard to drink a couple glasses of water throughout the day?
Here are some simple tips to make this even easier….In reality, it can’t get much easier, but my 830a class has taught me that it can never be too easy:)
-First thing in the morning, drink 16-20 oz of water
-Try drinking water at room temperature, unless your at the box, then use the locker room temperatures or you may burn your mouth…
-Stop waiting until your thirsty to drink….it’s too late.
-Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and make sure you are constantly drinking from it.
-You can add electrolytes to your water but for the majority of us, water will do the trick.
-If your not getting up at least once in the night to pee, your probably dehydrated. If your getting up more than 3 times a night to pee…you are either drinking water too close to bedtime, or getting older and your bladder is shrinking, or your pregnant….you be the judge on that.
-You don’t like water? So what, learn to like it.
-Contrary to popular belief, you cannot hydrate by drinking soda or beer, it doesn’t work like that.
I was going to spend some time on this theory but I really don’t think anyone is going to have this issue. The main thing to remember is, you can’t hydrate all at once. This means you can’t chug a gallon of water in one sitting and think your good for the day. Your body can’t process that much water at one time. Spread your water consumption throughout the day. Very few of you will ever have this problem.