By Sean Barker, CPT (@SeanBarker)
The latest research shows dehydration can reduce your performance by up to 45 per cent. This is because the lack of fluids in your system can lead to a reduction in blood volume and a decrease in blood flow, reducing your maximal cardiac output. So when the heat rises, you need to make sure you stay hydrated; your performance and health depend on it.
The signs of mild dehydration may include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urine output; it may be more yellow or brown than normal
- Dry skin
Luckily, the treatment for this is simple: drink more liquids, such as water or sports drinks. If you’re looking for an alternative, however, here are three healthy hacks you can have on hand to help naturally replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
Coconut Water. Think of it as nature’s Gatorade, but without all the artificial colours or processed sugars. Coconut water is gaining popularity and is now easily accessible; you can find it anywhere from grocery store shelves to gas station fridges. It has just enough natural sugar to aid in glycogen replenishment, and is packed full of potassium and electrolytes to keep you conquering without cramping. Combine it with a scoop of whey protein to make a potent post-workout drink.
Salty foods. A little natural salt (sodium) is needed when you sweat and lose fluids while highly active. Sprinkling a little sea salt on all-natural foods can help keep your electrolytes in balance and maintain fluidity around your muscles and joints to protect against injury. Try eating pickles for a quick on-the-go sodium snack. They taste great and can help you keep going when the game gets down to the final crunch.
Natural Lean Lemonade. Avoid the sugar crash and stand tall with an ice-cold glass of this refreshing lemonade.
16 oz water
1 whole lemon, sliced
1/8 tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt
1 packet of natural sweetener, such as Stevia
Combine ingredients and serve over ice to rehydrate naturally with some sodium and sweetness. Add a banana on the side for potassium and carbs.