Posts tagged with ‘hydration’

  • Knowledge Blog

    STAYING (ADEQUATELY) HYDRATED

    - by Imtiaz

    The dehydration dogma is universal: It’s dangerous so you need to drink a lot of fluids, especially in extreme conditions such as heat and exercising for long periods.

    For decades the prevailing advice from  sports coaches, the media and most notoriously, the companies who manufacture ‘sports’ drinks and supply bottled water, has been to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and to constantly sip on (hypotonic) sports drinks before and during bouts of exercise. These are myths that just won’t die.

    Where do these myths come from?

    There is certainly no good research behind either approach. It’s believed that the eight glasses of water a day myth stems from a recommendation by the Food and Nutrition Board in ‘Murica for people to consume at least 2.5 litres of water a day. What everyone neglected to do was continue reading beyond that recommendation. The board followed that recommendation with advice that most of that water would come from food. Whether you call it a misunderstanding or misdirection, it’s unsubstantiated. Much like the advice to drink copious amounts of sports drinks during exercise.

    Aside from staying hydrated, the culture of drinking lots of fluids during exercise and sports is founded on beliefs that it will prevent heat stroke and exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC). EAMC are most likely caused by neurological changes brought on by fatigue – NOT due to an undue loss in water and electrolytes. Knocking down gallons of water or sports drinks will not prevent or stop the cramps, and it could kill you.

    The body’s innate systems for measuring water and electrolyte concentrations are finely tuned. When you need water, that system tells you so by inducing thirst. The eight glasses a day and sports drink advocates will tell you that it’s too late if you’re already thirsty, but we’ve already called their BS 😉

    It is dangerous to become dehydrated, but that is why the body will induce thirst if water levels begin dropping below normal. What most don’t know, however, is that hyperhydration (too much water) is just as dangerous and arguably more prevalent than dehydration.

    Hyponatremia occurs when a person drinks so much hypotonic fluid, like water and sports drinks, that blood sodium levels decrease. In bad cases the excess fluid floods the lungs and brain. Much like dehydration, hyponatremia can be fatal.

    Therefore, to stay adequately hydrated you should drink when you’re thirsty. The best fluid is of course water, but hot drinks like tea and coffee do contribute to your daily fluid intake. Avoid fizzy drinks, fruit juices and concentrates. Eat vegetables everyday along with some fruit – they provide a lot of water. If you are exposed to extreme environmental conditions such as heat and altitude, or are exercising for long durations, you are still more likely to experience hyponatremia than dehydration so keep drinking to thirst.

    It should go without saying that drinking soda during an endurance event is a no-go, but the fact that soda companies support fitness events and are the largest producers of bottled water should indicate that these hydration myths are no coincidence.

  • Knowledge Blog

    CAFFEINE, HEALTH, and PERFORMANCE

    - by Imtiaz

    It has been reported that people are now more likely to consume caffeine on a daily basis than fruit. It may be the most widely used stimulant in the world, most commonly in the form of a variety of coffee drinks such as espresso and cappuccino. However, caffeine is a common ingredient in many other sources like tea, nutrition supplements, soft drinks, chocolate and energy drinks. Many people, like myself, consume caffeine daily for the love of a good cup of coffee and the stimulant effect it has on the brain. Others use it to aid performance or for suggested health benefits. While others have no idea how much caffeine they’re getting by knocking back all those soft and energy drinks!

    Caffeine consumption for health and performance has been reasonably well researched, and in general, it’s not bad for you. It may actually be really good for you. While there’s still a ton of research that could be done, let’s look at what we do know.

    Hydration

    Coffee or caffeine does NOT dehydrate you. In fact, caffeinated drinks contribute to your daily fluid intake. Research has shown that urine losses for people who consume high and low doses of caffeine are relatively the same as for people who consume no caffeine at all. Just as I have written in the past, the body’s hydration control system is finely tuned. You’d have to be very sick, in extreme environmental conditions, or consuming far above the average daily caffeine amount (200mg) to get dehydrated.

    Weight Management

    During nutrition consults and general discussion I often have people say that they need to cut out coffee to help with fat loss. If you’re drinking flavoured lattes, frappucinos and two sugars with that cappuccino, or have the biscuit every time you have coffee, then yes you need to cut out coffee to lose body fat. Or at least change your coffee drinking habits. Coffee has no calories – what you put in it or what you have with it contains the calories.

    Energy drinks, pre-workout supplements and soft drinks do however contain sugar – real or artificial. Use with caution.

    Performance and Recovery

    Up until 2004 caffeine was a banned substance by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). But after a lot of research examining habitual caffeine consumption and consumption specifically for performance, it was dropped from the list of banned substances. Caffeine remains one of the most tested ergogenic aids and is still widely used by athletes of all sporting codes and at all levels of competition.

    Studies show that caffeine can improve endurance performance by about 12%, enhances mental focus and acuity, and also reduces perceived exertion. These effects are greater in athletes who rarely drink caffeine because they are less tolerant to it’s effects. Everyone, however, responds differently to caffeine. So if you don’t drink coffee much and decide to use it before an event or even just before a workout, nausea, the jitters, and anxiety are common!

    We also know that caffeine may help mobilising fat stores for use as fuel, thereby delaying muscle glycogen depletion. This partly explains why caffeine as a performance aid is better for longer bouts of activity. It also indicates the benefits of caffeine consumption for fat loss. An interesting study showed that caffeine consumption with a carbohydrate-based drink four hours after exercise significantly improved muscle glycogen compared to a carbohydrate only drink. This could speed up the recovery process post-training.

     

    So, it’s legal and potentially really good for you. I do however suggest you get your fix primarily from (good) coffee – not instant coffee – while limiting consumption of energy and soft drinks as a source of caffeine. Thanks to all the research and all the coffee nuts out there, there are so many types of coffee that are easily prepared. One of the most common coffee recipes today is bulletproof coffee. A quick search will quickly give you an insight into its origins and original recipe. I have been starting my day with a cup of that goodness for years now, and was recently shown a bunch of different recipes to try out – some healthy and some treats. I’m going to be making my way through them. Check them out here: Bulletproof Coffee Recipes.

  • WOD Blog | Workout of the day

    SATURDAY 07-11-15

    - by Imtiaz

    CrossFit

    LEVEL 1

    5 Rounds For Time:
    5 Wall Walks
    10 Knee Tucks
    20 Box Jump (24/20)

    LEVEL 2

    5 Rounds For Time:
    10 Wall Walks
    10 Toes to Bar
    20 Box Jump (24/20)


    Barbell Club

    Week 1 of 12: On the Minute

    LEVEL 1

    A. Hang Snatch
    EMOM 15:
    Min 1-5: 1 rep at 60%
    Min 6-10: 1 rep at 70%
    Min 7-15: 1 rep at 75%

    B. Hang Clean
    Same as for the snatch

    C. Jerk.
    Same as above.
    Must be cleaned

    LEVEL 2

    A. Snatch
    EMOM 15:
    Min 1-5: 1 rep at 70%
    Min 6-10: 1 rep at 75%
    Min 7-15: 1 rep at 80%

    B. Clean
    Same as for the snatch

    C. Jerk.
    Same as above.
    Must be cleaned