Tips and Tricks

Proper hydration and why you should be aware of your H20 consumption.

We all know water is important… But just how important is it, and why? Well, according to the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Manual, “Water makes up over half – around 55-60% – of who we are.” Of that 55-60%, is found inside our cells while the other makes up a portion of our blood, and surrounds our cells and connective tissues! We even have water in our bones, muscles, eyes, and brain.  It helps regulate our body temperature and is involved in many of our body’s metabolic reactions, such as contracting a muscle. As you can see water is pretty darn important, without it we would not be here. So what does that mean? It means that we should be consuming water every day!

We need to consume water to make up for all that we lose through breathing, sweating, and, of course, excretion (Oh, gotta those many potty breaks during the day). I say “consume” since, luckily, we don’t necessarily need to drink water to increase our body fluid levels. Water is found in raw fruits and vegetables, adding more of these into your diet may help improve fluid balance (fluid IN vs. OUT) in your body.

When you don’t drink enough water, your throat dries up and you feel super thirsty, right? At that point, already 1-2% of your body water is lost. Over 2%, more serious consequences start to manifest, such as death at a 10-20% loss of body water. Interestingly, a mere loss of 0.5% of your body water can mean an increased strain on your heart! This goes to show just how much we need to make sure to drink enough water throughout the day!

On average, without exercise, our bodies lose around 1.5L of water a day through sweating, excretion, and mostly through evaporation from our skin. While everybody’s fluid needs are different and depend on a multitude of factors (such as activity levels, environment, diet, etc.), a general guideline would be to consume 30-40mL of water per kilogram of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 143lbs (65kg), you would need to drink 1.95-2.6L of water per day.

… So I think I know what we’re all going to drink more of from now on, right? 😉

(Photo: Courtesy of Precision Nutrition, https://www.precisionnutrition.com/water-and-weight-loss)

 

Tips and Tricks

Why you need to be sleeping more.

Nutrition is important, there’s no denying that.

*See CrossFit Pyramid*

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One thing that is unfortunately way overlooked (and probably even more important than Nutrition) is SLEEP. After listening to an episode of the Chasing Excellence podcast the other day (link found here) as well as messing up my own sleep schedule this week, I wondered how many people actually realized how lack of sleep could affect them.

To sum up what Ben Bergeron, a highly recognized coach and affiliate owner in the CrossFit community, talks about in the above mentioned podcast… There was a study conducted by Stanford University on a group of male college students. They had this group of healthy males sleep only four hours a night (half of what we would strongly recommend). By night seven, after only ONE week, the entire group of healthy males were pre-diabetic. Yes, you read that right… After seven days, everyone was pre-diabetic.

If you are after athletic performance, this is something you need to dial in ASAP and here’s why… As previously mentioned, I badly messed up my own sleep schedule this week and wow did I ever suffer. It wasn’t a 4 hour night like in the above mentioned study, but it was still a lot less than I’m used to. I am usually very diligent about getting 8+ hours every night, but on Tuesday night I got 5.5 hours of sleep, a whole 2.5 hours less than my body is used to. It blew my mind how much it affected me for the rest of the week; my training session on Wednesday did NOT go well, my recovery wasn’t optimal either, which then affected my training session on Friday. (We won’t even talk about my mood *insert embarrassed emoji here*.)

So now the question is, how do I improve my sleep quality? There are plenty of different pre-sleep routine recommendations out there. Essentially you just have to figure out what works for you! Some things to consider trying would be to power down (or put away) your phone at least 30 minutes before you go to bed, reading and/or journaling before bed to help clear your mind. If you’re interested in checking out a step-by-step power down routine by Jenny Sharpe from M2 Performance Nutrition, click here.

If you’re interested in fine tuning your pre-sleep routine, contact one of your Outlook Nutrition coaches today!