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Stay Hydrated To Compete At Your Best

Hydration is the greatest determinant of strength. A drop of 1.5% in water levels translates into a drop of 10% of your maximal strength. The leaner you are, the worse it is. Make sure you weigh the same or more at the end of your training session.

Increased water levels = more sets & reps = greater changes.

Optimal athletic performance cannot be achieved with suboptimal levels of hydration since all the body's functions depend on adequate fluid levels. Avoiding dehydration and heat exposure are most important for muscular endurance and the maintenance of peak power levels during repeated anaerobic exercise bouts.

Greater hydration will allow you to train harder and longer, and there is evidence that dehydration causes cardiovascular stress as well as deterioration in central nervous system function and muscle metabolism.

When we get dehydrated, our bodies experience inflammation (like when you roll your ankle and it swells up). This has the ability to lead to allergies, asthma, indigestion and chronic pain.

Our digestive system needs water, so if we don’t have enough, our digestion slows and symptoms like IBS can occur.

Our joints need water so the cartilage can stay strong and continue to act as a shock absorber and lubricator between joints.

The discs in our back also require sufficient water to maintain their structure which means that we can experience a decrease in height at the end of the day when dehydrated. One of the most common musculoskeletal complaints for the average person is back pain. One of the easiest 'cures' is to maintain hydration. So, if you've got a sore back, make an effort to drink more water and see if you notice a reduction in pain.

Most mid-afternoon energy slumps can be attributed to dehydration and reaching for a glass of water or two in the afternoon is a much healthier alternative to coffee, soft drink or stimulants.

The immune system will also be depressed when it lacks water, so we are much more likely to catch a cold or the flu when we are weakened by dehydration.

Headaches are another common symptom of a lack of water, so before you reach for a pain reliever, grab a glass of water.

When it comes to the amount of water you need each day, it will vary from person to person based on a variety of factors including activity level (athletes will have an increased demand), climate (dry climates will increase the need for water intake), genetics, body size and body weight.

As a general rule of thumb, aim for around 2-3L per day.

Staying hydrated should be at the top of your list if your goal is to perform at your best and if you value your health. Put down the coffee and pick up the water. Your body will thank you for it.

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