As the heat this summer peaks, so do cases of dehydration. Hydration plays a crucial role in every aspect of our lives and our well-being. From sleep, energy levels, organ function, athletic performance and everything in between. As we push our bodies to the limit, maintaining optimal hydration levels becomes crucial to performing our best. Here are some ways hydration can improve our overall well-being:
Hydration plays a significant role in preventing injuries for athletes. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, strains, and even more severe conditions such as heat-related illnesses. Proper hydration not only prevents cramps but also helps maintain joint health by supporting the body’s natural shock absorption mechanisms.
Post-exercise hydration is crucial, as it aids to our recovery process. Replenishing lost fluids and electrolytes helps our body’s ability to repair the damaged muscle tissue that we get from strength training. Adequate hydration helps jump-start the recovery process, allowing us to be able to bounce back faster and reducing the risk of overtraining injuries.
Improved Cognitive Function A.K.A Reducing “Brain Fog”:
Ever find yourself not being able to think clearly and focus half way through the day? Odds are you’re dehydrated. Our brain is highly dependent on proper hydration to function optimally. Numerous studies have shown that even slight dehydration can impair cognitive abilities, such as attention, memory, and decision-making. As athletes rely heavily on sharp mental alertness, reactivity and focus during training, it is crucial that we are adequately hydrating our bodies in order to reach peak mental performance.
So, how much water should you be drinking?
The amount of water required for each person will vary depending on various factors such as: age, weight, activity level, and other individual factors. As a general rule, it is recommended that the average adult drinks at least 64 ounces a day, and equally disperse that throughout the day. The most important factor of all of this however, is to listen to your body. Make sure you are drinking more water on days that it’s hot out, or you participate in an intense workout, and on the days where you’re not doing much, it’s just as important to stay properly hydrated.