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10 Steps to Becoming a High-Performance Athlete: Step 2 – Hydration

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Keep properly hydrated!

Water is the most plentiful substance in our body and is vital to our health. Water penetrates every cell and regulates all bodily functions. To name a few, water cleanses the body, transports nutrients, removes waste and regulates our body temperature. Knowing all of this, it is baffling how many people don’t know the importance of drinking water! At least 70% of our body is made up of water, yet these days people don’t think twice at topping up with fluids that are high in sugar, sweeteners, caffeine, gas, preservatives and salt. We’d never put the automotive equivalent of fizzy drinks in our cars, yet people do it to their bodies all the time.

Secrets of Hydration

  • The rate of passage of water from your stomach to your intestines depends on how much water is in your stomach. If there is a lot of fluid, it is like a flood flowing from your stomach to the intestines. The idea is to have a smaller amount of water so it drips like a tap into the intestines.

TIP: Practice sipping often throughout the day. Take 3-4 sips of water every 10 minutes or so.

  • If you’re going to be exercising for less than 60 minutes, don’t worry about putting carbohydrates in your drinks- plain water is fine. But for prolonged exercise, please add a carbohydrate.
  • Cold drinks aren’t absorbed quicker into the body any more quickly than warm, however, cold drinks are often more palatable than warm ones during exercise. If cold drinks help you to drink large quantities of fluid while you exercise, then stick to that.

Good Hydrators: water, isotonic drinks, juices, herbal tea

Bad Hydrators: tea, coffee, fizzy drinks, alcohol

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