Common Mistake #5: Inadequate fluid intake

9 06 2010

Water is the largest single component of the body.  Approximately 75% of muscle is made up of water.  Besides oxygen, it is the most important nutrient in our bodies.  Water plays an important role in nearly every major bodily function: it aids in digestion and absorption, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, regulates body temperature, removes waste, cushions joints and protects organs and tissues.

Water is the most important supplement we have:  USE IT!

Hydration is overlooked by most athletes, with more than 50% living in a state of dehydration.  Try not to wait until you are thirsty.  By this time, you have already lost ~1% of your body weight.  Losing as little as 1% body weight can impair performance and make it difficult for your body to cope with exercise and warm weather.  A loss of 2-4% of your body weight causes a 20% decrease in strength and a 40% decrease in aerobic capacity.

Dehydration can be prevented!  Drinking the proper amount of fluid before, during, and after exercise will keep you well hydrated.

Tips for Proper Hydration:

  • Pre-Hydrate – Drink 16–20oz of water 2–3 hours before practice/competition.  Drink 8oz of water or Gatorade 10–20 minutes before practice/competition.
  • Hydrate – Drink water or Gatorade during practice/competition, not waiting until you feel thirsty.  One simple strategy is to drink 4-8 oz during every break.  On gulp is approximately an ounce.
  • Re-Hydrate – Drink 20–24oz of water or Gatorade for every pound of weight lost.

Plan ahead and carry a water bottle with you.  To calculate approximately how much water you need daily, divide your weight in half.  This is the minimum amount of fluid in ounces you should strive to drink daily.  Alcoholic beverages do not count.  In fact, you need to drink additional water for every alcoholic beverage you have.  The more you sweat, the more you need to drink in addition to this amount.  Also, remember that muscle is 75% water.  So, if you are trying to gain muscle, you need to drink additional water to aid in building that new muscle.

Bottom Line: Carry a water bottle with you and drink often throughout the day.

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.


What you eat can affect your joints…

16 04 2010

Maintaining and regenerating cartilage and synovial (joint) fluid helps to avoid frictional damage to your joints.

Adequate daily intake of protein and water can be essential to maintain good levels of synovial fluid.
1. For protein, get at least 0.5 gram per pound of body weight.
2. For water, get at least 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help joints by reducing inflammation.
Good sources are:
Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, Fish Oil, Walnuts, Canola Oil, & Flaxseed.

Both vitamin D and vitamin C are important as well.
1. Eat a fruit or vegetable with every meal or snack.
2. Take your multivitamin daily.
3. During the Fall & Winter, take your vitamin D supplement daily.

Weight  | Protein (g/day) | Water (oz/day)
130 lbs  | 65—104 grams   | ≥ 65 ounces
160 lbs  | 80—128 grams   | ≥ 80 ounces
180 lbs  | 90—144 grams   | ≥ 90 ounces
200 lbs  | 100—160 grams | ≥ 100 ounces
220 lbs  | 110—176 grams | ≥ 110 ounces
250 lbs  | 125—200 grans  | ≥ 125 ounces
300 lbs  | 150—240 grams | ≥ 150 ounces

© Randy Bird, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS and Randy Bird Sports Nutrition, 2010.