Natasha Hastings, USA Track and Field Olympic Gold Medalist, has quite a few wellness habits. Her number one habit: “staying hydrated.”
Adeline Gray is on track to be the first female American gold medalist in wrestling. Her number one piece of advice: “stay hydrated.”
Do you drink enough water? Are you sure? Would Natasha or Adeline be proud?? If you only drink when you’re thirsty, the answer is “no.” You’re mostly water… but that doesn’t mean that you have a lot to share. Losing just 2% of your body weight to perspiration as we do by sweating during a workout is enough to limit your athletic performance. Further dehydration will wear down your body until heat illness takes over, incapacitating even the strongest athletes.
Dehydration is so powerful because of water’s involvement in nearly every biochemical process. With dehydration, the amount of blood pumped with every heart beat decreases as does the amount of oxygen reaching your muscles and brain. As well, by-products of exercise are not flushed out of the body with the regularity that is necessary. In just a few hours, dehydration can become so extreme that we stop sweating due to lack of water and then our bodies fail to regulate temperature. This state is known as heat stroke and it kills over 600 Americans per year. You probably won’t die of heat stroke but if you will exercise for extended periods of time or in the heat at some point in the future, you will face dehydration if you don’t hydrate properly.
Dehydration is sneaky but easily beaten. By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost 2% of your body weight in water and are dehydrated. If you’re slow to the bottle, you’ll be slow to the finish so don’t forget your spring water! Start drinking before thirst sets in. Carry water all day so that you are free to drink as you please. Also consider eating foods that are high in water content such as fruit like watermelon and bananas.
Hydrated athletes simply perform better. Olympians realize this and we’re honoring them with our Olympic-themed 16.9 oz water bottle labels. If you’re watching the games at home or with friends, we highly recommend these bottles as a way to get festive without increasing your budget.
Drink up and good luck, Team USA!