How to Stay Properly Hydrated for Optimal Performance?


Everyone needs o stay hydrated to keep their bodies and minds working at optimal performances, as dehydration can cause muscles to weaken and concentration to decrease. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay hydrated and being able to increase and maintain how much water you drink is essential to keeping healthy.

Our body is 60% water and we lose some of that when we perform certain activities like exercising, as we perspire and breathe out moisture. We must ensure that we restock our bodies with this necessary water so that our muscles can recover and we can perform at our optimum level the next time we complete a given task.

Continue reading this article to find out how you can stay properly hydrated for optimal performance by managing your water intake and adopting certain techniques.

Water Intake Management

Man drinking Water

There are no strict rules as to how much water you should drink, but there are recommendations on how much you need for optimum performance. Several factors do need to be considered when managing water intake, such as heat, humidity and the type of performance. Staying hydrated is very important, but just how much water you should drink will change.

If you are taking part in exercise, there are some loose guidelines that you can follow for drinking water, such as:

  • Drink 17-20 ounces of water 2 or 3 hours before exercising.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start your exercise.
  • Drink 7 to 10 ounces every 10 minutes during your workout.
  • Drink 8 ounces of water after you exercise.

Some people will need more or less water depending on the type of exercise and person, so some trial and error might be required to fully know how much water you should be drinking.

Consume Electrolytes

Drinking electrolyte beverages is highly recommended when taking part in exercise, as maintaining electrolyte balance can maximise the performance of the body. This is because electrolytes include salts and minerals like potassium, phosphate and calcium, which are very important for keeping us hydrated and feeling healthy.

Salt is particularly important in helping the nerves transmit signals to the muscles of the body, including the heart. This can help with absorbing nutrients into our cells, which can help them keep hydrated for longer. Electrolytes are usually consumed in water to balance the performance and hydration enhancement factors.

Avoid Smoking

Avoid Smoking

Smoking cigarettes or other products can cause dehydration due to the chemicals affecting our body’s ability to regulate hydration effectively. It can also lead to a dry mouth, even if you try to balance it out with water as that can sometimes make it even drier. Smoking has a range of negative effects on our body, so it should be avoided by everyone but especially those who need to perform optimally at all times such as athletes.

A lot of athletes have opted to quit smoking in favour of nicotine replacements like nicopods. These nicotine pouches are thought to be a safer way of taking nicotine rather than smoking it, as it doesn’t directly impact the lungs in the same way that smoking does. However, this can sometimes have adverse effects so it needs to be used and managed properly.

Eat Hydrating Foods

Eat Hydrating Foods

If you want to get extra hydration benefits, you should consider eating hydrating foods. Most fruits have great hydration properties, as they are filled with natural juices that have a positive effect on the body’s performance. Strawberries, watermelon and oranges are some of the best fruits for keeping your body hydrating. It also helps that they are part of your five-a-day.

Liquid meals, such as broths and soups, can also help you maintain hydration. Minestrone and clear miso soup are both excellent choices as they both offer immediate nutritional benefits, so you should include them in your diet as often as you can. However, these are not filling meals so having them as a starter to a bigger meal would be the ideal option.

Try Lighter Carbs

A lot of carbs are very healthy but they can be dry and make our bodies need extra hydration. Switching out these heavy carbs, such as pasta, can help you stay hydrated for longer. Zucchini noodles contain around 95 percent water, so they make for a great hydration replacement for regular pasta. This can then be paired with whatever sauce you desire for a tasty and refreshing meal.

If you are eating heavier carbs then you should try to make sure that you balance this out by consuming hydration liquids along with it.

Watch Out for Dehydration Symptoms

If you feel dehydrated, you must take immediate action to keep your body in good shape. There are some clear symptoms of dehydration that you should be aware of, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Light headache
  • Confusion
  • Cramped muscles
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate

Sticking to basic hydration techniques should help you avoid dehydration woes, so having a water-drinking schedule would highly benefit your health.

Lara Beck
Fitness Coach

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