Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Performance Begins with Awareness

There's an abundance of advice, both good and bad, out in the ether regarding training and tips for improving your performance.  And today we have a whole set of tools that we can use to better guide our training.  But for any technique, program, or tool to be effective, we have to have an awareness of our weaknesses in order to be able to change and improve.

A 2014 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning, Thigpen studied the hydration profile and sweat loss perception of male and female division II basketball players.  The authors studied the hydration status of the players as they arrived for practice and the hydration profiles of the athletes during practice.  What the study shower was "the majority of ...collegiate basketball players report to practice in a state of hypohydration (dehydrated) and have poor ability to estimate sweat loss."

The cost in performance due to dehydration is well documented.  Beginning at 1.1% dehydration, Hoffman et al. demonstrated a 16.5% drop in jumping power during 30sec. tests.  At a 2.5% dehydration level, Bosco et al. demonstrated a 5.3% drop in muscular strength.  The data is clear, dehydration affects performance, strength, power, high-intensity endurance, and cardiac output.  But, if you don't know you're dehydrated, how can you know just how strong you could have been?

In order to get the most out of your training, develop a hydration strategy.  Know that most people will lose at least 2 liters of water a day just being alive.  That has to be replaced.  If you drink coffee or other diuretics your basic water needs increase.  Develop a practice of weighing yourself before and after training sessions.  Athletes that estimate water loss through sweat greatly underestimate their level of dehydration.  Show up for training fully hydrated, even hyperhydrated.  Begin by drinking one half to one liter of water 1 to 2 hours before practice.  Remember that in the Thigpen study, a majority, 2 out of 3 players showed up to train dehydrated!  Actively replace fluids during practice and in competition.  If you leave this to chance, you will become dehydrated and you will loose capacity to perform.  Make hydration a part of your performance strategy. After practice, get lost fluids into your system as quickly as possible.

Hydrus Performance Concentrate is designed to get fluids into your system faster and works to prevent fatigue!  Hydrus re-hydrates at a rate up to 8 times better than other oral re-hydration solutions.  On game day there is one factor that you control that if neglected will drain you and leave you wondering where all that hard work went.  Get a hydration strategy in your game plan, and make Hydrus part of your program.