At its elementary level, hydration is simple.
If you feel thirsty then drink.
However there is a tsunami of misinformation and we are going to tackle some of those half-truths.
Hydration is one of the key ingredients to performance. Simply it transports nutrients to your cells and takes waste away from them.
MYTH: Dehydration won’t impact your workout that much.
Truth: False! Whether you start the any activity dehydrated or become dehydrated during that activity, if you cross the dehydration “threshold” (a 2% decrease in body weight), your exercise intensity drops off. Once you reach this dehydration threshold, you will sweat less, which will lead to a higher body temperature, and your heart rate will be higher for the same exercise intensity. Which basically means you will slow down and it impacts on what you are doing that’s is at the gym or hiking a mountain.
Myth: If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated
Truth: Actually, your thirst sensations are a pretty sensitive gauge of your fluid levels. “Dehydration is the body’s natural loss of water through sweat, tears, and breathing. The kidneys control the water balance in the body, and when they sense the need for more water replacement, it sends a message to our brains to drink more water by making us feel thirsty,” explains kidney specialist Dara Huang, MD, founder of New York Culinary Medicine.
Myth: You need a minimum of eight glasses of water a day.
Truth: You do need to keep hydrated, but how much is an individual thing. Everybody, especially athletes and those at hotter temperatures have different needs. There are lots of variables; size, weight, altitude, temperature.
Myth: You need to wee clear to be hydrated.
Truth: As long as what coming out is a pale yellow, you’re hydrated. If it’s completely clear, it just means you are in overflow and what’s going in is coming straight out. However if your pee is darker in colour and/or particularly smelly, you are possibly dehydrated, but it could be a range of factors.
Myth: Coffee dehydrates you.
Truth: While caffeine provides a performance-boosting edge, however it’s also seen as a diuretic, but recent research shows that caffeine doses between 250 and 300 milligrams, about two cups of coffee, will minimally increase urine output for about three hours after consuming it. However the research also shows that exercise seems to negate those effects.
During activity, blood flow shifts toward your muscles and away from your kidneys, so urine output isn’t affected, Plus you always have a latte in the morning or a red bull at lunch, your body is acclimated to the caffeine, so its effect, on both your physiology and performance, is negligible.
Myth: Water only is best for hydration.
Truth: Although water is a great way to hydrate, it may not be the best choice in all situations. For an easy an easy activity on a coolish day, sipping water is fine. But if you’re running 10 miles in the sun are going to need more water enhanced with electrolytes, are good options
Myth: Drinking water flushes toxins from your body.
Truth. If you are not properly hydrated, your kidneys don’t have the right amount of fluid to remove metabolic wastes as efficiently. In other words, lack of water causes the body to hold in toxins rather than expelling them as required for proper health.
Myth: You can’t drink too much.
Truth: You absolutely can drink too much and it can be deadly.” Too much water can cause symptomatic hyponatremia, a condition where the sodium levels in the blood become dangerously low.
Myth: Dehydration can impair cognitive function.
Fact. Studies have shown that when individuals are dehydrated by approximately 3%, performance was impaired on tasks involving visual perception, short-term memory and psychomotor ability.