It’s gonna be MAAAYYYY (in Justin Timberlake’s voice). Just kidding Iron Warriors, we are nearly through May (what?!?!) and the Charleston humidity and heat are both on the rise! So what are y’all doing to prepare yourself for the sweat sessions inside the box? Besides your awesome nutritional plan from Coach Erin, and daily regular “cup of Joe” first thing in the morning, proper hydration throughout the day plays hand-in-hand with nutrition and fitness!
Whether you have a desk job, or one where you're on your feet for hours, every single one of us should strive to drink water throughout the day before hitting the gym. Hydration helps with digestion prior to a workout and work capacity during a workout. I recommend mapping out a plan to stay hydrated throughout the day and hold yourself accountable.
I work in a laboratory setting where food and drinks are prohibited; however, that does not stop me from consuming enough H2O. I carry a 32 ounce Nalgene bottle and drink 4 to 6 ounces before eating lunch. I drink an additional 10-12 ounces before and after eating. And viola, I hold myself accountable because I'm easily tracking my consumption! After work, you can catch me dancing, grooving, and moving some weights in the box (as well as chugging down copious amount water in between sets).
Not only does hydration help with digestion, it plays a tremendous part in your overall fitness. Y’all ever watch Coach Shannon and Coach Erin move like a Energizer bunnies that keep going, and going, and going, and going? Ask them how much water they drink before hitting a workout. Hydration prevents early fatigue and provides sustainability during the workouts – this means if you are super-duper tired after the warm-up (before hitting the real workout) go drink some water ASAP. Keep yourself at bay from cramping and redlining too fast with hydration!
(continue reading blog after infographic)
Infographic created by: StayingHealthy.org (https://smartforlife.com/benefits-of-drinking-water/info-water/)
Not all are created equal
Before you begin raiding the market and grabbing a gallon jug of water, take note that each and every single one of us has a different body and genetic makeup. There are factors and variables we can consider when it comes to proper hydration like: sweat rate, heat, and humidity. It's a no brainer it's vital we all stay hydrated because we are in Charleston. If you haven’t yet felt the intense humidity levels...you gon’ learn real soon! As the the duration and intensity of your workouts climb, remember to stay hydrated.
Depending on your activity levels, you can replenish electrolytes after a workout with Gatorade or another similar recovery drink. Energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks may taste good and at times be beneficial; but, water is the best source of hydration you can provide yourself without adverse and minor side effects. So drink up, ladies and gents!
If you're a caffeine drinker, you've experienced the 'crash and burn,' after consuming too much in a short period of time. The same can occur during a workout. If you're chugging energy drinks or other caffeine-filled drinks, prepare for an early crash during a WOD. Am I recommending never taking a pre-workout? Of course not! I am saying to make healthy, smart decisions. I personally take preworkout strictly for lifting weights and BCAA’s for cardio workouts.
As bland and boring as water may taste, it is undeniably the best option to fuel your body before, after, and during a workout. You can get fancy and change the flavor by adding NUUN tablets, MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, or any other flavored tablets/enhancers you find at the market. But, take the time to research key ingredients and other unfamiliar chemical compounds you come across on the labels of these enhancers. Feel free to ask your local chemical specialist (and Iron Bridge athlete), Jason Hydrick who regularly attends 5:30 PM or 6:30 PM for any questions about these special chemical components. (Whoops, threw you under the bus there, Jason - you're welcome!).
Aside from that, all of y’all are doing a fantastic job with bringing in water bottles and containers to help y’all stay hydrated – major WIN. And if you ever find yourself without water, let one of the coaches know and we'll hook you up!
Stay classy and drink water, says the Otter.