You’re born with a detection system for dehydration—it is called thirst. As little as two percent loss of hydration will affect performance in the boxing ring, and with such a high-intensity workout regime drinking plenty of water is extra needed. Here is where your excuses are easily solvable. Maybe you like a Coca-Cola, maybe it’s coffee? Maybe you have convinced yourself that protein shakes are sufficient enough to keep your body hydrated to perform a high-intensity, full body workout?
While all of these choices are fluids and do some part in keeping your thirst quenched, none of them can compete with plain water. When you are burning calories and training, you sweat…a lot. Once you are done working out, the amount of sweat dripping off of you is also the amount of water your body just let go of.
Each day our personal trainers are asked questions about proper hydration and we feel we give expert answers. Here are a few of the questions we are asked, and we have tapped into the pool of our staff for daily feedback they offer to our members:
Q: How do I know I am dehydrated?
A foolproof way to see if you are giving yourself enough quench is to weigh in before and after each of your sessions. The pounds you lose during training are almost entirely composed of water, so if you weigh in lighter than when you started is an indication you didn’t take in enough fluids.
Q: How much should I be drinking to make sure I am adequately hydrated?
Obviously, the longer you’re in the boxing gym (especially here in Tucson), the more water you should consume. Competing in extreme temperatures or change of altitudes will make your body’s need for extra hydration vary. A good rule of thumb is to drink 7 to 10 oz. of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes. If you are someone who perspires more than average those amounts should increase. Listen to your body, it’s one of the most beneficial gifts to give yourself during training classes.
Q: Do you have any tricks to keep track of how much water you’re consuming in a day?
Set an alarm on your Fitbit, or heart rate monitor to go off every 90 minutes. Use this as an indication to refill your bottle or glass of water. Also, keep an eye on the color of your urine. If you have two nearly-clear urinations a day, chances are you are properly hydrated. This is a common-sense technique that truly keeps you on track
Q: Does hydration affect muscle growth, recovery and weight loss?
Keep in mind that 75 percent of muscle tissue is water. So it is not hard to see how critical proper hydration is to muscle growth. Also, as mentioned above, a small amount of dehydration affects performance. And if you are not performing up to your maximum potential, you certainly aren’t growing to your maximum potential. From muscle repair to protein synthesis to nutrient absorption, water and hydration levels play a huge role in your boxing training. You will not recover properly without proper hydration.
Q: What can improper hydration cause?
Fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps are just a few of the symptoms experienced. Dehydration goes from mild to severe very quickly. Boxers are very susceptible to it since they exert so much energy when training and fighting. Nausea, dry mouth, muscle cramps, fast and erratic heartbeat, vomiting, and feeling lightheaded are other symptoms. In extreme cases loss of consciousness, mental confusion, and loss of muscle control can occur.
Boxers are extreme athletes, and water is their lifeline. The importance of water hydration is at the top of the list for athletes. The right amount of water is needed before and after exercise to properly regulate body temperature, lubricate the joints and helps your body provide you with vital energy.
Staying hydrated is a key component to a smart work out and restarting life on a positive path plan as it flushes toxins out of your system, and keeps your digestive tract healthy. Hydration can even help you feel more full, which leads to cutting down the risk of binge eating or consuming excess calories. So many people are looking for a pill or magic remedy when it comes to fat loss, but it’s actually hard to beat H20 as a weight management supplement.