Do you Drink?
My favorite season because of the beautiful weather, pool and beach days, outdoor workouts, and being able to spend time with my kids since they’re in college, but home in the summer months. I don’t know about you, but I’m always out and about and sweating in this hot weather!
I sweat a lot. And I like it.
But if I continue to sweat like the devil my performance starts failing, I get a headache and muscles start to cramp.
Follow along if you want learn my tips and new products geared toward the topic of : HYDRATION!
Staying hydrated is especially important in these summer months, but also year round, since water intake affects both physical AND mental performance. It also can help control your food intake/diet, since the brain confuses urges for hunger and thirst. Fall sports programs have started summer workouts and practicing long hours in the heat can take a toll. Take a look at how you hydrate (and even more importantly what is dehydrating you— not only sweating, but caffeine and alcohol play a part).
The fluid lost in our sweat and breath must be replaced to enable us to maintain the same level of performance.
Even a 2% decrease in body weight through water loss can cause detrimental effects, with reports of up to a 20% decrease in performance! Both physical and mental performance has been shown to deteriorate in states of dehydration. The following are common symptoms:
· Higher heart rate
· Impaired aerobic capacity
· Reduced concentration and decision making
· Slower reaction times
· Impaired judgment
When the level of water within the body falls, this causes our blood volume to decrease which leads to thickening of the blood. This places extra strain on the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels) and a subsequent rise in heart rate to maintain adequate blood supply to the working muscles and organs.
As blood volume decreases further, blood is diverted away from 'inactive' organs (including the skin) and towards the contracting muscles. A lack of blood at the skin decreases the sweating response. This, in turn, causes a further increase in body temperature which if not lowered, can lead to heat stroke.
The best way to prevent dehydration is by regularly taking in fluid throughout your training or competition. The most important lesson is not to wait until you feel thirsty before you have a drink. This is for two reasons. Firstly, while exercising, the feeling of thirst is often masked. Secondly, feeling thirsty is an indicator that you are already dehydrated.
The amount of water you should drink depends on weight, but average guidelines recommend 3.7 liters for males and 2.7 liters for females.
Here are my tips and newer products I have tried to keep my body/mind hydrated recently!!
1) Hydrogen Infused Water – I recently stayed at The Virgin Hotel in downtown Chicago and it has the best coffee shop in the lobby of that hotel. (I can feel another blog post coming about all the products in the Virgin) Anyway, I was really thirsty because it was a hot, humid day and I looked at the selection of water at this cool café. There was a silver pouch of H Factor Hydrogen Water looking at me. I read the label with claims on the packaging stating:
· Increase Athletic Performance,
· Reduce Inflammation from Exercise,
· Deliver Powerful Antioxidants
HFACTOR naturally infuses Hydrogen gas into water at unprecedented levels, providing a saturation that is easy for our body to obtain and enjoy its benefits.
Naturally, it sparked my curiosity and I had to give it a try. Although I didn’t workout that day, I could definitely speak about my energy level along my skin looking and feeling top notch!
H Factor does not have any flavor, just crisp clean water taste. I will experiment with this water on workout days for a little more self-testing.
We now know that molecular hydrogen has therapeutic potential for nearly every organ in the human body, as well as for 150 different human disease models! And it’s extremely safe. - Fred Liers, PhD.
And I guess I do not have to make a trip to the cool coffee café at the Virgin Hotel to purchase each time, I also found it at Jewel Osco! https://hfactorwater.com/
2) I have been on a caffeine-free kick for almost a year now, but the marketing on this new product had me intrigued a bit. If you need a little caffeine to get going in the morning why not try Limitless Lightly Caffeinated Sparkling Water?
Comes in 6 different flavors with 35mg of caffeine from coffee beans. Did not taste at all like coffee because if you know me (I don’t do coffee—my caffeine intake came solely from tea). I tried Lemon Lime and Grapefruit Hibiscus and they were both worth the break in my caffeine-free existence. ;) I’m not sure I would indulge too much in this type of drink daily because of the caffeine and the carbonation but for a treat it is one I would grab again! https://shop.limitlesscoffee.com/
3) I want to talk about pH and electrolyte enhanced water next. Hot topic of conversation in the nutrition industry is consuming more alkaline diet. The effects of consuming a diet too high in acidic foods/drinks can also wreak havoc on our high performance machine – (the body). If you don’t believe in drinking water that is high in pH, then you are missing the benefits of superior hydration so you can perform at your highest level. My favorite is Ten Spring Water, my yoga mentor, Dana Santas (pictured below) is who I have to thank for introducing me to TEN!
You may have seen some of my social media posts about how great TEN is and sourced in the USA. Follow and participate in their Instagram Challenges. I received a case of TEN for following and playing along. And doesn’t it make you smile when their hashtag is #hydratehigher ? It gets me every time. www.tenspringwater.com
4) If you get bored of drinking plain water, I love to infuse my water with Young Living Vitality Essential Oils. It not only adds flavor but added health benefits like immune support and digestion aid. There are so many different flavors and DIY combinations to try, you would be hard pressed to find boredom in plain water ever again.
Add a couple drops of Citrus Fresh™ Vitality™ essential oil to your water bottle. This blend combines Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Tangerine, and Lemon oils with a shot of Spearmint for a zesty and refreshing burst of flavor. www.youngliving.com or hit me up for information on how to order.
*Note: not all essential oils are created equally thus not all are ingestible.
5) If getting to the store or ordering water products online is not your thing, then another way to flavor your water naturally by adding your own electrolytes with what you already have in your kitchen --- fruit, veggies, herbs and pink Himalayan sea salt.
Try infusing your water with cleaned and cut up fruit, veggie, and herbs and place in a container or pitcher to chill in your refrigerator.
DIY water infused water recipes
· Watermelon & Mint
· Cucumber, Lemon & Mint
· Strawberry, Kiwi and Lime
DIY Electrolyte water
· Pinch of Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, 1 Tbsp of pure coconut water per 8 oz of water
Experiment with some of your favorite fruits and herbs too. If you like to share your favorite recipes for infused water, please comment.
How to avoid dehydration:
As a general guide, it is recommended that you should drink:
· 10-15 fl oz 2-3 hours before exercise
· 8-10 fl oz 15 minutes before exercise
· 8-10 fl oz every 15 minutes during exercise
Hydration plays an important role in living your best life! Stay well and continue to watch for signs of dehydration. It still happens in cooler temps too.