Hydration is E V E R Y T H I N G! It is how we function, how we live. But how much is enough? What fluids should we be consuming? Are you at risk for health problems? I was doing some research, and found that even the slightest decrease in water percentage, a decrease by 2%, could lead to dehydration. Most people are making due by what they eat and drink at their three meals throughout the day, but are so close to being in that 2% deficiency range.
As an athlete, water//fluid intake is even more important. How much depends on the individual. As a runner, we often times find ourselves drinking only when we feel thirsty. However, our bodies need fluids before, during, and after running. It is vital at all three stages. I am no perfectionist at this. I struggle just as much as the next.
I carry a Nathan’s water bottle with me wherever I go. When I’m not in school, I drink any where from 5-8 of them. However, when I am in school, that amount drastically decreases, because getting to the bathroom every hour isn’t exactly feasible. #teacherproblems 🙂 I try to make up for the loss when I get home, and throughout the evening. I love water && have to have it with me at all times. Find that bottle that you love, and that works with your lifestyle, and treat it like your baby.
Sometimes water is not enough, or can actually be too much! When performing long endurance activities, like marathons and triathlons, drinking only water can dilute the sodium levels in our bodies and lead to stomach issues, cramping, or worse. My go to drink during long runs, and any physical activity is Nuun.
Back in May, I had a half marathon to run, on what seemed like the hottest//most humid day of the summer. I thought I was getting enough water, because I stopped at every water station && I carried my hand held water pack. I didn’t feel bad, but my body was giving me warning signs that I was super dehydrated. I would get chills and goosebumps on my arms and legs, that would come in waves every 15 minutes. [[[It was almost 100 degrees out this day!]]] After the race, I weighed myself, and saw I lost almost five pounds. I knew right away, I was beyond dehydrated. I spent three days trying to get my body back on track. Since then, I have found Nuun! My life has changed drastically since introducing Nuun into my daily regimen. It is packed with electrolytes, light flavor, no sugars or carbs, and super portable. The electrolytes found in nuun help alleviate cramps, keeps muscles performing up to par and burn energy efficiently. My favorite flavor is strawberry lemonade, but enjoy them all. I have not come across one flavor I disliked.
Nuun active hydration comes in 12 flavors: orange, lemon lime, strawberry lemonade, fruit punch, kona cola, lemon tea, tri-berry, grape, tropical, citrus fruit, watermelon, and lemonade.
FOR MY COFFEE FANATICS:::: In case you were fearful that coffee doesn’t count towards your fluid intake, IT DOES! If you are anything like me, you have to have C O F F E E. Sometimes it’s not even about the caffeine, it’s just the comfort of holding the steaming cup, and the aroma of coffee beans filling your nose. Despite rumors, coffee doesn’t dehydrate you. That’s good news for all of us coffee addicts. So drink away!
I am two weeks away from my first marathon, and have shifted my focus to hydration. Sometimes we get lost in the other mumbo jumbo of training and working out, that we lose focus on the little things. Keep a check list, carry a bottle, set an alarm, do what you have to do to keep yourself hydrated.
If you have other ideas,suggestions, or stories, please feel free to share. I love hearing what works for other people.