Nutrition

Taking Care of Nutrition – Step 2

I’m going to assume you’ve already read Step 1 and have implemented it. That means you have your goals on a list and those goals are located in two places you need them the most (recommended in the kitchen and in your car). If you haven’t done this yet you should go back and do it. You wouldn’t build a house by skipping the foundation in order to get to the “fun” parts of like the kitchen counters. Skip steps every week and you’ll probably fall behind and fail. I’m only releasing these once a week because I think it’s more manageable for people to accomplish.

So here we go. Step 2: Drink more water.

Dehydration will do more negative things to you than you can imagine. People often attribute fatigue, sore muscles, lack of motivation, etc. on anything but the amount of water they drink.

But what do you know about water? Recent studies are suggesting 75% of American’s are chronically dehydrated. While that’s not a Canadian Statistic, I doubt we would be that far off from the same numbers. People are consuming too much sodium (salt) and not enough water to balance it out. Take a look at some of the sodium in the cans of food that you eat and tell me if you’re offsetting that with the amount of water you drink.

Water is like oil in our car. Our brain is 85% water and our muscles are 75%. Starving yourself of water might help you lose weight, but it’s not coming from fat stores and it’s not making you a healthier, complete athlete. It’s hurting you in more ways than you might think. If you stop to think about it, not having enough water in your brain is a recipe for disaster and a lot of disaster also occurs with mild dehydration. Here are a few things you might have noticed: Irritability, lack of patience, fatigue, poor short term memory, poor cognitive function,

One tip for calculating your exercise needs is to check your weight before and after exercise. I know I lose roughly 2.5lbs of water weight per hour during exercise. That means I need to replace roughly a liter per hour with a mix of some sodium to absorb the water. When I go to a race, I’m definitely thinking about hydration when the race is over 1 hour in length. The upcoming Spartan Ultra is going to be a test of nutrition and hydration, not just a race. Our performance can easily drop by 5% from being dehydrated. That might not sound like a lot, but in a race that comes down to minutes between podium and not, it’s going to matter a lot.

So after reading this, go take a drink of water and start carrying water around the office with you. Try not to go for plastic water bottles that you buy in the store because they are often full of harmful BPA’s. You’re better off buying a safe travel mug that won’t give you the harmful plastic chemicals as a side dish. How much water you need in a day is so variable by person it’s not worth bringing up. Factors include the amount of sodium in your diet, amount of exercise you get (sweat) and the amount of time you spend in the sun.

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