Are you getting your edge?

There is a big gap between survival and optimization of the human body. Most athletes hydrate only

when they are thirsty, and they couldn’t be more wrong!

The human body is predominantly water – to be specific, 50% – 65% water and muscles need to be fully hydrated to perform at their peak. Thirst hits when there is a 2% – 3% loss in body water (dehydration), unfortunately, mental performance; concentration; physical hand-eye coordination; and strength all become impaired much earlier at around 1% dehydration.

Improve your chances of victory by hydrating often, while your opponent waits until thirst triggers them to drink. Athletes I work with do a pretty good job of hydrating prior to the event / game but often ‘drop-the-ball’, and forget to optimally hydrate during. Most just take a sip or two to wet their whistle, but a lot more than that is needed for top performance. On average, athletes should drink 8oz of water every 15 minutes (with adjustments for age, gender, activity type, and venue temperature).

There is a big gap between survival and optimization of the human body. Most athletes hydrate only

when they are thirsty, and they couldn’t be more wrong!

The human body is predominantly water – to be specific, 50% – 65% water and muscles need to be fully hydrated to perform at their peak. Thirst hits when there is a 2% – 3% loss in body water (dehydration), unfortunately, mental performance; concentration; physical hand-eye coordination; and strength all become impaired much earlier at around 1% dehydration.

Improve your chances of victory by hydrating often, while your opponent waits until thirst triggers them to drink. Athletes I work with do a pretty good job of hydrating prior to the event / game but often ‘drop-the-ball’, and forget to optimally hydrate during. Most just take a sip or two to wet their whistle, but a lot more than that is needed for top performance. On average, athletes should drink 8oz of water every 15 minutes (with adjustments for age, gender, activity type, and venue temperature).

Always remember to increase the frequency of hydration intake and build up the amount drunk at each interval during your practices, the same way you increase repetitions to build strength and speed.

Always remember to increase the frequency of hydration intake and build up the amount drunk at each interval during your practices, the same way you increase repetitions to build strength and speed.

Soda and Athletes

Soda is not hydration – its liquid sugar calories; and as a professional athlete you want to eat your calories, not drink them! (An exception would be a protein shake)

Many athletes think of soda as a liquid, but it is actually like icing on a cake, all sugar! Even diet soda, although calorie-free, has its own issues. Artificial sweeteners cause false signals to be sent to the body causing “metabolic confusion” which may lead to increased insulin secretion and fat storage. Moreover, some artificial sweeteners can interfere with sleep, effect mood, and may even lead to depression.

If that were not reason enough against soda, due its acidic nature (carbonic acid), soda may weaken bones thus increasing the risk of a fracture. Because the body must maintain equilibrium, it needs an alkaline to neutralize the extra acidity of soda. If the diet is not calcium rich enough to provide it, the body will tap into the calcium from the bones, weakening them over time.

The acidity in soda acts as an inflammatory to the body and may prevent optimal recovery. This can also lead to joint pain.

Remember that we breathe out carbon dioxide, as it’s a waste product of the human body. With soda and other carbonated drinks you are ingesting large amounts of this waste product.

Plain and simple, for proper hydration and optimal performance athletes needs to drink water! A lot of water. Probably more water than they are used to, especially during games and practices.

For those who don’t like the taste of water, just drink it! Not everything needs to taste sweet and like weight training or a good night’s sleep; it is a critical component of sports performance.

Hydration

With the sun beating down, a vital thing we need to focus on is…Hydration! Water makes up approximately 60% of adult body weight, and it is considered an essential nutrient because it must be obtained from sources outside the body. It is necessary for reactions in the body that involve nutrient digestion, absorption, transport, and metabolism.

Though it may be a surprise to many, water aids in decreasing fat and weight. First, water naturally acts as an appetite suppressant since fluid helps create a sense of satiety. In addition, water helps metabolize stored fat. This is because the kidneys cannot function without enough water. As a result, if you are deficient in water, the liver has to take over some of the functions of the kidney. Lack of water then makes the liver less efficient at its job, which is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. Finally, ensuring sufficient water intake is the best cure for fluid retention and for decreasing water weight. When you are deficient in water, your body perceives this as a threat to the body and will store as much water as possible. If, however, you drink enough water, your body will readily give up the stored fluid. This will help the athlete become faster as there is less “dead” or unproductive weight to accelerate and decelerate.

For most people, water is not consumed in sufficient amounts since thirst does not develop until body fluids are already depleted. At the same time, consumption of 2.5 to 3 liters (approximately 10-12 cups) daily is recommended to maintain optimal hydration. This amount is increased if your activity level increases, if outside temperature increases, or if you are overweight. Though your water requirements will be most effectively met by consumption of plain water or beverages which are 90% water by volume (i.e. low or non-fat milk, decaffeinated tea, low sodium soups and Powerade), water may also be obtained from solid foods that have a high water content, such as fruits and vegetables.

If you currently are not drinking enough water, start increasing your intake slowly. Adding a cup or two a day will help your bladder to adapt to the increased fluid load. Also, keep in mind that caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate you in the short term. For every cup of coffee or tea, you will actually need to add another glass of water.

Bullet Points:

  • Drink 3 liters or about 1 gal per day
  • More if it’s hot outside
  • More if you are overweight
  • Drink PowerAde – During and after practice, lifts or games
  • If you are thirsty then you are already getting dehydrated and Sports Performance will suffer.

Title: Soda and Athletes