How important is optimal hydration and electrolyte consumption for training and recovery?
The answer is staying hydrated is VERY IMPORTANT. Whether you are an athlete, regular gym goer or someone who prefers going for a brisk walk, this information applies to all of you! Most of us know hydration is important for physical performance, but interestingly it also affects mental performance.
Loosing fluid during physical activity
Did you know that the amount of fluid you lose through physical activity should be replaced with 125-150 percent of the weight you lost in fluid (remember not just water, but electrolytes)?
Why being underhydrated (hypohydration to dehydration) affect cognitive ability?
Dr Andrew Huberman, a Professor of Neurobiology at Stanford Medicine says ‘It is the loss of water that changes the size of our cells in the brain, which is related to the amount of salt in the cells. The brain cells work collectively by way of electrical signals requiring salts via (sodium, potassium, magnesium).’
Dr Andy Galpin, a Prof CSU Fullerton, PhD Human Bioenergetics, Muscle Physiology and Coach to elite athletes suggested a hydration rule of ‘ingesting 500mg sodium pre-post exercise and for cognitive demanding tasks that require longer spans of attention.’
How to restore Hydration after Physical activity
Weighing yourself before and after training is the most accurate way to gage fluid loss. and how much you would need to consume to get back to optimal levels of hydration.
The awesome thing is you can make your own hydration stack using the following as a guideline whether your training, recovering from training or replacing loss fluid.
Hydration stack recipe:
1/2 teaspoon of salt (1000mg of sodium)
500mg potassium citrate powder (200mg potassium)
¼ teaspoon of magnesium malate powder (60 mg magnesium).
Salt (sodium) is the cheaper electrolyte, but it is important to remember not to use excessive amounts of these compounds when making your own mix. Therefore, we would recommend following the above information to better understand the ratios. If you really want to take your training to the next level and feel more energized during sessions, it is important to consider checking your hydration status before having the caffeine boosters and pre workouts.