Did you know that your body is made up of approximately 70% fluid? Yes, think of your body as the Earth in miniature where water makes up 70% of its surface area. When you think of it in this way, you will realize that, indeed, hydration from water and other fluids is a must for your body.
When we speak of other fluids, we also refer to energy drinks like Red Bull and Full Throttle, which have special formulations for the extra burst of energy. These products are easily available and affordable in supermarkets, grocery stores, and convenience shops, which partly explains their enduring popularity among amateur and professional athletes. Of course, their popularity mainly lies in their effectiveness in providing consumers with the much-needed burst of energy, whatever the reason may be for it.
But there are many questions about hydration for high performance in fitness – when to drink fluid, what to drink, and what else can be done? Let’s take a look at these matters in the following sections.
Which Liquids Are Suitable for Hydration in Fitness?
Plain water from the tap is the best source of hydration in any situation. But when you engage in fitness activities, your body is subjected to more physical stress and thus requires more specialized hydration.
In this case, water is still the best source but you have to add other types of fluid. You can add your favorite energy drink, as well as a sports drink and water with fruit juice dilution. With the combination, you will get a wide range of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates as well as electrolytes necessary for sustained energy.
But be careful about your total daily consumption of energy drinks and sports drinks even when you are engaged in intense physical activity. You must read the product label and the recommended dosage for the energy drink so that you don’t get jittery from your excessive caffeine content.
And energy drinks are best consumed as cold as possible for a refreshing feeling. The feeling of your thirst being quenched coupled with the actual hydration provided to your body is a welcome one.
When to Drink Fluid?
You shouldn’t rely on your feelings of thirst alone in determining the need to drink water and other fluids. You should drink fluids on a regular basis so that your cells have a stable and steady supply. You will find that regular fluid intake will keep your muscles, ligaments and bones in optimum condition, thus, preventing premature fatigue during your exercise.
For this reason, you should drink as much fluids as possible before, during and after your physical activity. You can adopt the following general guidelines for starters:
- Drink two tall glasses of water two hours before the activity, which will lubricate your joints and feed your cells, so to speak.
- Drink 4-6 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during the activity, especially when you’re engaged in outdoors activity. You should have a 16-ounce water bottle and an energy drink on hand for your hour-long activity, for example.
- Drink 20 ounces of water for every pound of water weight lost during your activity. If you can’t weigh yourself afterwards, you can just drink an 8-ounce glass of water or more for hydration.
The water and energy drink you consume before, during and after your physical activity should be sufficient to meet your body’s needs for hydration.
What Should be Done Aside from Hydration?
But don’t just look to hydration for high performance in fitness. Keep in mind that maintaining stable and steady levels of blood sugar is also a must – and among the best ways is through food.
You must eat nutrient-dense food but keep it light so that your body doesn’t suffer from sudden spikes and dips in blood sugar. Your light meal an hour or so before your physical exercise will keep hunger from interfering with your planned exercise. Your best choices are food combos that combine complex carbohydrates and proteins with a small amount of fat, such as granola bars, yogurt with fruits, and nuts mix.
Proper and regular hydration is a must for daily life activities, more so for intense physical activities. Water is obviously the best source of hydration for the human body so drink plenty of it.
But there will be times when your body needs something more than water can provide and this is where energy drinks come in handy. The ingredients in these products provide much-needed energy for high performance, said ingredients of which include taurine, caffeine, and creatine, as well as ginkgo biloba and ginseng. Drink up in moderation!