Leonardo da Vinci sure had it right. The human body, without water is like an automobile without oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid etc. Sure you might be able to get from point A to point B, but it ain’t gonna be smooth and it ain’t gonna be efficient, and sooner or later the car will become so damaged it’ll break down.
Hydration has been studied a lot in the exercise physiology literature, the general consensus is that a mere 2% decrement in hydration causes a noticeable decline in performance. Sadly, a ton of us live in a constant state of dehydration. A urination rate of 6-8 times per day, with a pale yellow appearance of the urine is considered to be normal state of hydration. What’s that? This doesn’t sound like you? Well I say check yo self before you reck yo self foo.
Let’s get your requirement for daily water intake figured out. It’s fairly simple – but it does take a little commitment and work:
Over the course of 5 training days weigh yourself before and after each training session. The amount of weight you lose in KILOGRAMS added to the amount of water you have consumed during your training session in LITRES equates to the amount of water in LITRES you need to replenish yourself with due to the losses during training.
Add the amount of litres you’ve calculated each of the five days together and divide that number by 5 to generate an average.
If you are a female add 2.2 litres to the number you calculated in step 2, if you are a male add 3.0 litres to that number.
VOILA! You now have you average daily fluid intake. Drink this amount everyday. Monitor it, write it down in you training log. It will affect you, don’t have a lame excuse for not PRing your “Karen” time like I didn’t drink enough water – really? You are that lazy that you let water intake ruin your training?
Now there is another aspect to this equation of hydration that certain people qualify for and that is monitoring your electrolyte balance. If you are one of two types of people you should be paying special attention to your electrolyte levels and need to add some form of them into your fluid intake.
1) you train more than one hour per day. If this is you, you will need to be on top of this.
2) you suck at eating fruits and vegetables, regardless of how long you train for. You know who your are, fix it.
If you fall into one of the two above categories, you’re going to need some form of sports drink that will help replace electrolytes lost during sweating (sodium and potassium the main ones). I’ll leave you with a recipe for a homemade form of sports drink for all of you paleo folk out there:
500ml orange juice (good source potassium)
2 pinches table salt (sodium and chloride)