Hydration is always misunderstood. Nowadays, after all, scientific investigations about the subject, mean mostly nothing to a lot of people.
Still, in some popular races amateur athletes are collapsing, suffering from heat strokes and other problems caused by poor fluid intake. Perhaps it’s time to change that, isn’t it?
One of the most important discoveries about hydration is the straight relation between drinking water with electrolytes and, improving your performance. In other words, you can easily improve your results just by drinking the right amount of fluid.
Nevertheless, no matter what scientific literature is saying, people love to believe things that aren’t proven yet, that have little scientific evidence or use strategies elite athletes are doing, even if are not right or even do not apply to normal people.
I think we basically buy those things because they play a serious role in our deepest desires of finding the holy grail, being socially accepted, becoming the “guy”, etc…
However, even if our ego gets smashed, always it is worth questioning any myth or legend before putting it into practice, is worth questioning any supplement before taking it. It is worth going the extra mile and getting real information: how works, why works, when works, and does it work?
In this post I am going to share with you a few myths about hydration, I hope you find them attractive as well, no hard feelings! 😉
Euhydration is the key to keeping your high performance
Myths and realities about hydration
Myth #1: If you’re not thirsty, you’re probably not dehydrated
That is not true, some people can handle different ratios of fluid loss and until the thirst alarm triggers, we can be already dehydrated. Especially in well-trained athletes can handle higher ratios of fluid loss, and elderly people, with age lose their natural thirst mechanisms.
The reality is that checking your urine color will help you to know if you are dehydrated or not. The darker the color, the more dehydrated you are.
Myth #2: Drinking water is the only way to stay hydrated.
That is not true, when we lose liquid from our body, we are losing a combination of water, and minerals.
When rehydrating it is very important we get back those electrolytes not just water.
Myth #3: Everyone should drink 8 glasses of water a day.
That is not true, everyone is different and has different hydration demands based on: age, gender, activity level, diet, and climate we are living in…
It is very important to personalize your fluid intake. Perhaps a good start would be knowing your sweating or liquid loss ratios, if you don’t know where to start, a nutritionist can help you out.
Myth #4: A beer after a workout is a good method of rehydration
That is not true at all. A part of the social engagement alcohol has with your teammates after training, has no benefit in your recovery.
One of the facts about alcohol is that will increase your urine production, so after one beer, you will probably need to go to the toilet and you’ll become more dehydrated.
I recommend you choose a drink that contains all the essential electrolytes and carbohydrates.
Myth #5: In a race don’t drink too much so you can go faster
That is not true. Actually, scientific evidence shows that drinking the right amount of electrolytes and water necessary for you can increase performance.
That is an old-school myth from athletics and marathoners that still is going on. Is it true that some elite athletes, I repeat ELITE ATHLETES can use dehydration strategy to become faster or have some advantage in a specific zone in the race, but they have higher physiological adaptations than normal people do. So is worth it, to stop playing with our health.
Myth #6: Coffee (caffeine) dehydrates you
That is not true. Recent research demonstrated that caffeine increases performance for 11 minutes longer, and consumed in normal dosage (2 cups of coffee 200-300mg) has nothing to do with dehydration.
Actually, water in coffee can be taken into consideration when calculating your ratios of fluid intake.
I wish that next time you’ll get into serious training or racing your nutrition will improve by at least 1% so your results can improve by at least 5%
May the force be with you!
Soon I will update a post at 226ERS.com talking about hydration and some strategies.