This week, let’s discuss the benefits of hydration.
Although it may seem like this is a topic for other sports, despite what the non-yogis think, we do sweat in yoga! In order to get the most out of any workout, it is important that your body is not fighting with itself. Maintaining proper hydration will help you feel good and complete your workout successfully.
(All links below open in a new window/tab so feel free to browse through them as you read).
First, a word of caution: as important as it is to be well-hydrated, studies show that overhydration can actually be more dangerous than dehydration. Furthermore, being dehydrated while performing rigorous work does not seem to diminish performance in elite athletes and can in fact improve performance in runners because they drop weight as they become dehydrated. According to this Wall Street Journal article, elite American distance runner Meb Keflezighi drinks 28-32 oz. of fluid during marathons and knows runners that drink nothing (think about that next time you are stopping at the water station during your 5k)!
Why start a blog about hydration with a plug for dehydration? To be clear – you should not be dehydrated either, but the point is being over-hydrated can kill you as this article about a local Georgia high school athlete tragically describes, and I want you alive and well.
Now that we have that out of the way, on to the tips for staying properly hydrated.
Water is bland. That obvious fact sometimes tempts us all to reach for the sugary stuff (sports drinks) or the expensive stuff (vitamin infused water), but there are other options.
Each morning, I fill a water bottle with water and the fruit of my choice. Limes are in for me right now, but I often use frozen grapes or blueberries. I’ve even dropped a mango seed with a little bit of mango flesh on it in my water bottle. Sometimes I add a pinch of sea salt. The best part? You don’t have to buy expensive water bottles with infusers in them. Just adding fruit into regular sports bottle gives a small amount of natural sugar & fiber to help replace electrolytes and add flavor (without the caloric intake of those sugary drinks or the cost of the expensive stuff). If you like to infuse essential oils into your water, you probably only want to use glass or stainless steel containers as some essential oils, especially the citrus, can break down plastics, and our bodies definitely do not need more plastic.
The bottom line: as with all things yoga, listen to your body and drink water throughout the day when thirsty. If water is too bland, add the fruit of your choice. Enjoy!