Optimize your recovery time through post-exercise hydration
Many athletes and clients that walk into your gym know the ins and outs of basic athlete nutrition. Many will count their macros, use some form of post-workout protein recovery, and they might even fast at times to increase fat oxidation. There is, however, one aspect of the workout many of us are missing - hydration.
Think back to your high school biology class, do you remember learning about cells and cell hydration. You may remember that up to 75% of our body is actually water. This is clear indication of the overall importance of a hydrated body - especially when we are referring to athletic potential. Just how important is water and hydration to overall performance?
Hydration and Performance
We consistently find ourselves asking each other “how much do you bench”. Strength is the category that most of us are concerned with - strength performance is the measure we use to determine overall performance in the gym.
Researchers wanted to find out how much of an affect hydration could really have on overall performance in strength tests. Using two groups - hydrated and dehydrated, researchers tested for multiple sets of 4-6RM in Bench Press. On a consistent basis both users scored similar results on the first set. However, moving into sets 2-5 dehydrated individuals showed a drastic decrease in performance, whereas hydrated users were able to maintain close to the same weight as the first set.
These results indicate that staying hydrated prior and during a workout could assist in glycogen reloading and a buffer of overall lactic acid.
How important is Hydration
Many strength experts will agree that order to stay hydrated you should try to drink 3-4 litres of water each day. Keep in mind that foods such as fruit/vegetables are almost entirely water, so if your diet is high in these foods you may not need to drink as much water. A good way to tell if you're hydrated is by observing your urine. A clear urine is a hydrated body. If your urine is golden yellow, you may want to drink more water.
If you are really interested in optimizing your hydration you should weigh yourself before each workout and after each workout. Each pound you lose after a workout should be compensated with about 600ml of water. For example: If you weigh 2 pounds lighter after an intense workout you should drink about 1.2 litres of water to compensate for water losses and maintain cell hydration.
Optimizing your hydration can also be done through supplementation. At Atomic Strength, we have created a unique, post-workout recovery tool that not only includes amino acids and joint support, but also muscle and cell hydration. Find Apocalypse here.