Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hydration for optimum results

I will talk more bout nutrition in an upcoming blog but for today the topic is hydration. Its one of the simplest ways to improve your ability to train hard and to recover again after hard training.

Quick thoughts: I used to walk around dehydrated for so many years that i started to think that it was the normal state of affairs. Then when i added more water and experienced how my body started working better. So; how much to drink? Well, it all depends on how much do you sweat, how much water-rich food do you eat and so on. The picture below gives you a quick overview of which color your urine should have when its all good. (Take into account that the color will look brighter and more healthy when diluted in the toilet, though)

What to drink, you might wonder? I think water makes most sense for most situations and i try to drink as much as possible these days. I usually end up at around 3-4 liters, but i am still borderline dehydrated. It seems i drink nowhere near enough during training. Regarding training; if you train for one hour, then water is great. If you train longer, or sweat a lot, then you might wanna consider a sports-drink with a bit of carbohydrates in it. These usually also contains salt which we lose a fair bit of through sweating, so its basically a win-win situation. They can be expensive though, so you might wanna make your own: 100ml honey, half a teaspoon salt, 50ml lemon-juice and fill up with water until the strength is to your liking.

Stay away from diet drinks cause they mess with you insulin-levels and please drink something smarter than the likes of Coca Cola. Not too much coffee and alcohol is definitely a very powerful diuretic, so be extra cautious with these.

What about fruit-juices? Well, they are usually highly concentrated so you might very well be better off eating the real fruit and then adding some more of that pure water. (And if the label says "Made from concentrate" then the nutrients I used to think we got are long gone....)

To finish off i will just share that adding half a liter of water before training and drinking at least a liter afterwards has done wonders for my energy-level in class and also sped up my recovery-time.

Thanks to Dr. Chris Mohr of for the measuring-slide.