Fluid in the body is like oil in a car. It helps everything work properly. From carrying things around in the blood, to digesting food, to allowing joints to move and muscles to contract … to pretty much everything else we do as live humans!!
When we are just 1.5% dehydrated there is some evidence that concentration and mental ability can be affected. This might impact movements that require coordination … to avoid you bopping yourself (or someone else) on the head with a wayward barbell, dumbbell, wall ball, kettlebell … soooo, basically 90% of CrossFit movements.
Yet we typically don’t feel thirst until we are 1-2% dehydrated. Which means we need to hydrate before we realize it.
And hydration is more than water …
HYDRATION = SALT + WATER
The fluid in the body is not actually water, it is a salt solution. So, to stay hydrated we need salt + water.
When we train hard and sweat a lot (don’t deny it) we need to be particularly conscious of ensuring we have enough salts in our food to compensate what we sweat out.
Two rough rules of thumb:
If your pee is not clear or very pale, drink more fluids!
If you prepare food at home, salt it! You don’t usually need to worry if you eat out or buy ‘processed’ food, as that is typically well salted.
Top tip: if you find you forget to drink regularly, leave a filled water bottle on your desk and in various places around the home … visual reminders as you go about your day! And / or set reminders on your phone until it becomes a habit you don’t forget.