You probably already know that your self-defense fighting training often leaves you feeling thirsty. This is because all that sweating you do during practice is leaving your body parched and in great need of hydration. The simple answer to this problem is to drink enough fluids, but what constitutes “enough?”
There isn’t a set answer to this question. Different people need different amounts of fluid to stay hydrated, and some people sweat more than others.
Dehydration and Training: Staying Ahead of the Thirst
Experts agree that when you begin to feel thirsty, the effects of dehydration are already setting in. If you want to stay hydrated enough to keep your body functioning at optimal levels during training, you will need to ingest fluids before you start feeling dry in your mouth. Your body is made mostly of water, which means that getting dehydrated will have negative effects on both your training progress and your overall health. Without proper hydration, your body can’t effectively cool itself or remove toxins from your system.
How to Spot the Signs of Dehydration
When your body loses 2 percent of its total fluid, you are considered dehydrated. Early signs that your body is lacking fluid include:
- Dry or flushed skin
- Intense thirst or dry mouth
- Dark-colored urine
- Weakness, fatigue, or dizziness
- A head rush or headache
It’s important to note that these are signs of minor dehydration. If your body loses more than 5 percent of its total fluid, your dehydration has reached a level that could be life threatening. Signs of dangerous dehydration include the above symptoms plus others such as increased breathing or heart rate. However, as long as you take great care to get enough fluids while practicing self-defense fighting, you should never be in danger of this level of dehydration.
Tips for Staying Hydrated During Training and in Everyday Life
Keeping yourself fully hydrated involves more than just drinking water. Drinking plenty of water before you begin self-defense fighting practice is naturally very important, but you also want to ensure that your overall diet and lifestyle pushes plenty of water into your body.
- Drink More than You Think You Need
Try to ingest fluids regularly, even if you don’t yet feel thirsty. You don’t necessarily have to follow a schedule, but it may be a good idea if you struggle remembering to grab a drink. Whenever you do get a beverage, try to drink the whole thing or maybe even have two. You don’t have to feel thirsty for your body to make use of that hydration.
- Hydrate through Food
Many people don’t realize this, but food is another excellent way to hydrate yourself. Fruits, vegetables, smoothies, and soups are all rich with water, as well as vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. By adding water-rich foods to your diet, you’ll benefit your self-defense fighting progress through better hydration and better nutrition.
- Drink What You Like
You need hydration, but you’re one of those people who can’t stand the taste of water. What should you do? If you really can’t stand water, try to at least water down your other beverages so you’re getting more fluid and less sugar, artificial color, or other products you don’t want an abundance of. When in doubt, athletic beverages such as Gatorade make a better choice than soda.
- Portion it Out
If you’re having trouble keeping track of your fluid intake, try portioning it out at the beginning of each day. Fill a jug (or two) with the amount of water you’d like to drink, and keep working on it until it’s gone at the end of the day. That way, you’ll know just what you’re getting, and you can adjust your levels if it isn’t enough.
Krav Maga Worldwide: All the Training Advice You Need
The professional trainers at Krav Maga Worldwide can offer expert knowledge on how to stay hydrated and well fed for your self-defense fighting courses. Please contact us today for more information on how to properly prepare your body for training.