Hydration – what’s up with that? Answers to some common questions…..
How much water do I need?
Baseline, at normal altitude (under 5000 ft) water needs very first upon
your size. You need about 1.5-2L of water per day if you weigh around
110 lbs. If you weigh around 165 lbs., you need 2 ¼ to 3L of water
per day. A 220 lb. person will need 3-4L of of water per day.
Add another ½ L for warm (not here) or dry (yes here) climates.
Add an extra 1 to 1 ½ L at high altitude (between 5000 and 11,500
ft – yes here)
So what I am a little dehydrated, now what?
Even slight dehydration can have adverse effects on your athletic performance
and energy. For instance:
.5% dehydration increases strain on your heart
1% causes reduced aerobic performance
3% leads to reduced muscular endurance
4% reduced muscle strength, reduced coordination, cramps
5% exhaustion, fatigue, reduced mental capacity
6% possible coma
As we at Gunnison Valley Health have discussed with most of you at department
orientations, decreased performance and increased risk of injury go hand
in hand. We feel strongly that dehydration can increase your risk of getting
hurt on the mountain.
Do I need sports drinks?
Sports drinks provide electrolytes which may need to be replenished if
you are working/exercising hard and sweating. Electrolytes are minerals
such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium that are vital
to your body’s function. We need them in the proper balance. Taking
in a sports drink is not a bad idea if you are exercising at a moderate
intensity for a couple of hours or high intensity for over an hour. Remember,
lift time doesn’t really count.
That said, what is bad about drinking a sports drink even if you are not
working that hard / sweating? Not much, other than drinking calories that
are primarily sugar and have little if any vitamins and no fiber. If you
are trying to watch you weight this could be of interest and even if you
are not a diluted or lower sugar sports drink might provide the electrolytes
you need without empty calories (G2 versus a full strength Gatorade).
Why am I hungover (we think you know but we will tell you why)?
Beyond 2% dehydration physical symptoms of dehydration often occur such
as: headache, fatigue, low blood pressure, dizziness and/or nausea. Sounds
like a hangover right? Alcohol suppresses the hormones that control thirst
and water regulation leading to dehydration and hangover in excess.
Drink water in the morning and a couple of cups of water with every meal
Carry water in you are out riding/skiing and don’t like to stop –
Camelbacks or the like are great investments
Grab a lower sugar sports drink if you are riding hard or make your own
(one recipe below)
Get a BPE free, reusable water bottle for work.Don’t frequently reuse
plastic bottles and don’t keep buying them – they end up in
Have a glass of water per beer/cocktail if you partake.
Make hydration a priority!!You will feel better, ski/ride better and be
more injury resilient.
3 cups Coconut water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon calcium – magnesium powder
½ cup 100% juice of your choice
A little local honey to sweeten if needed
Please feel free to contact the Gunnison Valley Health Wellness Team with
questions, comments or wellness/health topics you would like to know more
about. Todd Ward DPT CSCS
firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Kugler DPT