Proper Hydration is Key!
If you want to make a difference in your daily performance there are some simple staples that you need to get control of.
First, your sleep, rest & recovery.
I am not just talking about sports and training, I am talking work, school, parenting...literally anything we do that requires our attention.
Trust me on this one, plan your sleep and rest. In our performance programs, naps are a key performance strategy; 15-20min between 2-4pm or depending on an individuals daily schedule.
Second, Nutrition. Eat well.
It sounds simple, but this takes planning and time. If you do this right cooking and food preparation can be a great and enjoyable time. For our top performers we actually schedule in kitchen time with significant others, family (especially kids) and friends. And, when done right we strategically have fantastic food leftovers and ingredients to repurpose in lunches, soups and salads.
When it comes to Nutrition there is one area that is consistently over looked and undervalued – Hydration!
You would be hard pressed to find a more simple way to improve your daily performance than just hydrating properly.
Our bodies, physically, are mostly water and every single process that makes our bodies operate properly are influenced by our water intake. And yes, this includes our brain function. It influences your mood and your ability to focus and concentrate – parents & teachers take heed!
Water is also important for our skin health, flushing toxins from our blood, delivering nutrients like oxygen, thermoregulation and bone & joint health.
For men it is recommended that you get in at least 12 cups of water per day. That’s just about 3 liters. For women 9 cups per day more if you are pregnant and breast feeding.
If you exercise or are an athlete you must pay attention to water loss during training and competition. We do daily weigh ins for our athletes before training and competition so we can gauge water loss and compensate accordingly.
Proper hydration can reduce the risk of injury and enhance recovery.
I cannot stress the importance of proper hydration. Yet I can honestly say that only a VERY small percentage of people and even our elite athletes hydrate properly on a daily basis.
If you want a daily advantage simply get into the routine of hydrating properly all day long.
Not Just Water…Though water is my recommended beverage of choice for hydration every fluid you consume contributes to the fluid balance in your body.
Milk, juice, coffee, tea, soft drinks, sport drinks, smoothies and milk shakes.
Two important notes:
1) Alcohol does not count as is dehydrates you.
2) STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR DRINKS – juices, sport drinks, soft drinks, smoothies and shakes can all have incredible amounts of sugar and we are at WAR with SUGAR! Proceed with caution! And again water is the best option – maybe add some lemon or light flavouring but be very aware of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Helpful Tips on Hydration
- Drink before you are thirsty!
By the time your body signals thirst you are already dehydrated and in an early dehydrated state the bodies capacity to perform work may drop by 10-15%.
- If you are going to use Sports drinks and fruit juices dilute them with water, there is way too much sugar. Here is our mix when we do use juice or a sport drink: 25% juice or sport drink – 75% water.
- Before exercise aim to consume 16 ounces of fluid 2 hours prior training or competition.
- During exercise consume eight to ten ounces every 15-20 minutes. After exercise drink 16-20 ounces for every pound of body weight that is lost with exercise.
It is a good idea to drink water before you eat two 8oz glasses of water before you eat has been show to help in weight loss and weight management as it can make you feel full to avoid overeating.
So drink and develop a daily habit of hydrating properly, whether you schedule it in or put reminders all around you hydrating is one of the simplest ways to impact your daily performance.
Here are a couple of great apps that can help you keep track of you fluid intake:
Performance For All!