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The Importance of Proper Hydration For Jiu-Jitsu Athletes


The Importance of Proper Hydration For Jiu-Jitsu Athletes

 

Written by Matt D’Aquino, a multiple Australian and Oceania Champion and a 2008 Beijing Judo Olympian. He has been studying Judo for over 23 years. He is a 3rd Degree Black belt and a purple belt in BJJ. Matt is also known worldwide for his excellent website Beyondgrappling.com . Matt has also come out with a great new DVD set for BJJ players: Judo for BJJ

 

Hydration plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy body. There are times when you may become dehydrated and when this happens it not only affects your concentration but also the efficiency of various systems in your body. Exercise, hot and humid weather as well as airplanes are all times when we can become dehydrated. This article will outline how you can become dehydrated and what strategies you can put in place to combat this.

Hot weather

Hot weather makes you de-hydrated because your body temperature is functioning at a higher level resulting in an increase in sweat rate. Sweat is designed to cool the body down when it is overheating by covering the body in water, this water then gets evaporated by the air and with the evaporation the body loses some of its body heat.

Throughout the hotter months to avoid dehydration carry a water bottle with you at all times. Just take a few sips every now and then, this will not only keep you hydrated, but it will cool you down as well.

Be aware during summer that air conditioning can also de-hydrate you and dry you out so if you are in an air conditioned environment you may need to put some moisturizer on your skin.

 

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Alcohol and caffeine

A lot of people indulge in a little bit of alcohol or caffeine before bed, without knowing that both of these substances are diuretics. Just keep in mind that if you are going to have some alcohol or caffeine before bed, have a glass of water with every glass of alcohol or caffeine. That way you cancel out the diuretic effect of the drink and keep yourself as hydrated as you can before bed.

 

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Airplanes

When you are flying on a plane you are flying at a very high altitude. This altitude can dry you out and make you feel rather dehydrated. To combat this feeling it is important to implement a few strategies to assist in not feeling dehydrated. The first strategy is to move around a lot. Don’t sit in your seat for the entire trip, move around and get the blood pumping through your body. Try to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine while on the plane, stick to juices and water only.

Sleeping

Especially during the summer months when we have hot nights we become dehydrated while we are asleep. People tend to forget that in a normal day we actually wake up dehydrated. This is because we have been asleep for 8 hours and haven’t had anything to drink. In the summer months this dehydration is made worse due to the hotter weather. A good way to avoid waking up dehydrated is to drink a glass or two of water before bed. This will help you wake up without a headache due to dehydration.

 

Exercise

Obviously when you exercise you sweat. It is important to make sure you are hydrated before, during and after exercise. During moderate intensity training you should be drinking around 200ml every 20 minutes and during high intensity training you should be drinking around 300ml every 20 minutes.

After training you should rehydrate 150% the amount of fluid you lost during the training session. For example if you sweated 1 litre of water you should rehydrate with 1.5 litres of water.

During exercise a good way to tell how much weight you have lost is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. This will give you a food indication of how much water you sweated out.

A lot of people say that they have 8 glasses of water a day. But is this sufficient for you and your lifestyle? The best way for you to know whether you are hydrated is to look at your urine. If it is clear like water you may be too hydrated, an off colour yellow means you are hydrated and if your urine is yellow or orange you are dehydrated.

To assist in staying hydrated I recommend to always keep a water bottle with you at all times. This will encourage you to take a few sips every now and then. This will not only assist in being hydrated but you will have more energy and feel great.

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