At Intrepid we do our best to give you insight on how to optimize health and performance via nutrition and your diet. We post awesome recipes for you to try. We even have our very own nutrition guru in Marcus that routinely answers specific and detailed dietary questions. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized that although we stress hydration, we haven’t really provided solid guidance or recommendations. The first thing that came to mind was the old advice to get your 8 cups a day, but I quickly found that this advice was dated and the 8 cups a day didn’t account for physical activity or individul variation.  I found this post from CrossFit West in Santa Cruz on hydration and provides some interesting facts like:

  • Humans are 45%-70% water
  • Muscle tissue is 75% water
  • Humans can survive 4x longer without food than water
  • 1% loss of hydration=elevated core body temp & impaired performance
  • 3% loss of hydration=significantly impaired loss of performance
  • 5% loss=cardiovascular strain
  • 7% loss=decreased ability to regulate heat
  • 10% loss=heat stroke or unconsciousness (% based on body weight)

If you didn’t need more reason to drink water, recently posted on the importance of water in building muscle mass and setting yourself up for success with your training.  Justin has a way of simplifying things saying that, “Water is necessary for almost all reactions and enzymes in the body. If you don’t have plenty of it, then your body won’t be functioning optimally…Your food won’t be digested as well, your energy levels will subside, your training won’t be efficient, your joints, muscles, and fascia will be stiff and sticky, and you’ll generally reduce the quality of everything you do during the day (including trying to lose body fat and grow muscle). It’s all a result of the normal chemical reactions in your body not working as well since they’re scrounging for ingredients. If you’re going to spend all this time giving a shit about your training, then set yourself up to optimally succeed.”  And strength coach Dan John tells all of his athletes that water is the best anabolic in his 10 tips for athletes in this T-Nation post.

The video below was filmed at one of the CrossFit Endurance seminars and the coach goes into detail on hydration to optimize performance, and I am sure that the majority of us can really work on improving our hydration habits.

Big take aways include:

  • A 1% loss of hydration reduces performance upwards of 10%
  • Regardless of fitness, people should drink half your body weight in ounces of water–This is the very minimum.
  • Increase your water intake by 16-24 ounces per hour of training

I’ll use myself an example.  My bodyweight is 205lbs.  That means at the very minimum I should be drinking about 102.5 ounces of water in a day.  On top of that, if I train about an hour and a half I need to add another 24-36 ounces.  My assignment now is to down approximately 130 ounces of water in a day.  If my Klean Kanteen holds 27 ounces, I have to drink about 5 full bottles worth to get my daily allotment of water to optimize my performance.  Also keep in mind that these are general recommendations and should you train in high heat, humidity, or other variables that will cause you to lose more water then simply increase your intake to accommodate for those factors.

Be aware of these signs of dehydration:

  • Dark yellow, strong smelling urine
  • Decreased urination frequency
  • Rapid resting heart rate
  • Muscle soreness and cramping
  • Thirst (too late)
  • Headache and discomfort
  • Lethargy and chills

Get yourself a water bottle if you don’t already have one, do your own math to see how much you should be drinking, and set yourself up to get the most out of your training.

WOD 10.05.11

Front Squat 5-5-5

Clean & Jerk
*May be a power clean. Touch and go at floor only. Even a re-grip off the floor is a foul. No dumping. Use same load for each set. Rest as needed between sets.*

5 Responses to “Operation Hydration”

October 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Brutus would approve:

p.s. Michelle, nice guns!!!

October 5, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Indeed Becky! Michelle and Kathy are amassing quite the arsenal over there. POW POW. Luckily those weapons are not concealed or else Tom and his robot friend will have to arrest you.

Michael H
October 5, 2011 at 1:55 PM

If anyone wants a water bottle let Steph or I know, we still have about 80 left over from our wedding.

October 5, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Mike and Steph – I’m sure if you brought a fewbottles to the gym, a few of us would abscond with them.

The trick isn’t “having” a water bottle, it is remembering to refill it and carry it with you wherever you go. And yes, I often fail at the latter step.

October 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM

Holy crap Becky, hysterical link. Brutus will have to re-post that article!!!