Hydration is a key factor in swimming nutrition and performance. Yes, it seems kind of weird that you need to drink massive amounts of water to stay hydrated while hanging out in a big pool of water. But regardless of how wet and moist your skin feels, you can still be dehydrated on the inside.
But why is it important to stay hydrated? How does it effect your swim performance?
And how can you stay better hydrated in the future?
Being dehydrated is not just unhealthy in general. It has many negative effects that interfere with athletic ability.
Beyond making you feel thirsty, it "derails swim performance and causes other effects such as tiredness, headaches and confusion or poor judgment.”
Other symptoms of dehydration may include, “decreased urine output, little to no tears when crying…dizziness…difficulty swallowing foods… dry skin…fatigue, lack of sweat, irritability… and sunken eyes. You can also experience low blood pressure and fever if you’re severely dehydrated.”
How are you supposed to swim to your fullest if you’re tired or confused? Or dizzy? You may not be able to swim straight even if you tried. And you may be too out of it to even realize.
Winnond Image via Freedigitalphotos.net
Here is a formula for how to calculate the recommended ounces of water you should be drinking per day:
Body weight in pounds divided by 2 = the number of ounces of water you should drink per day.
And that doesn’t even account for what you have depleted when you exercise. Athletes need to drink even more than this to compensate for water lost through sweat and exertion.
It is recommended that you drink little sips of water on a regular basis all day long. Sipping as opposed to gulping. Avoid large quantities at a time. You want to avert water flooding or else much of your effort will be for naught (it will go straight through your system instead of absorbing properly).
Trade out other beverages with water. Instead of having some orange juice at breakfast, choose water. Instead of grabbing a soda at lunch, choose water. Instead of having some tea or wine with dinner, choose water.
Image via Pepsico.com
Do you hate have to carry a massive water bottle around constantly? Do you hate having to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water?
sippakorn image via Freedigitalphotos.net
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