Hydration: Are you getting your edge?
There is a big gap between survival and optimization of the human body. Most athletes hydrate only
when they are thirsty, and they couldn’t be more wrong!
The human body is predominantly water – to be specific, 50% – 65% water and muscles need to be fully hydrated to perform at their peak. Thirst hits when there is a 2% – 3% loss in body water (dehydration), unfortunately, mental performance; concentration; physical hand-eye coordination; and strength all become impaired much earlier at around 1% dehydration.
Improve your chances of victory by hydrating often, while your opponent waits until thirst triggers them to drink. Athletes I work with do a pretty good job of hydrating prior to the event / game but often ‘drop-the-ball’, and forget to optimally hydrate during. Most just take a sip or two to wet their whistle, but a lot more than that is needed for top performance. On average, athletes should drink 8oz of water every 15 minutes (with adjustments for age, gender, activity type, and venue temperature).
Always remember to increase the frequency of hydration intake and build up the amount drunk at each interval during your practices, the same way you increase repetitions to build strength and speed.