The GNC Learning Center

Man Doing Push Ups with Kettlebells Outside

MAXIMIZING HYDRATION FOR PERFORMANCE

You know how much hard work went into your muscles—but did you know your muscles are composed of over 70% water? Individuals vary, but research shows fluid deficits of greater than 2% of your body weight can compromise your cognitive abilities and aerobic exercise performance. If you’re getting your gains in the great outdoors, seasons with higher temps mean you’re going to want to step up your hydration game to an even higher level. Check out these tips to help increase your fluid intake.

1. WATER, SPORTS DRINKS & ELECTROLYTE REPLACEMENT

Waiting for thirst or lightheadedness could mean you’re already dehydrated and not performing at your peak. Start drinking water early and often—and keep hydrating after workouts to help your body absorb nutrients, especially if you’re supplementing. Sweating during your workout depletes your stores of electrolytes, particularly sodium and potassium, but also calcium, magnesium and chloride. If you’re a heavy sweater, exercising for an extended period of time or training in extreme weather conditions, a sports drink or an electrolyte replacement beverage–such as Liquid I.V.® or BioSteel Sports Hydration Mix–might be a better option than water alone.

2. HYDRATING FOODS

Fueling up with hydrating fruits and vegetables can help deliver some of the water. Grapefruit, watermelon and strawberries—as well as tomatoes, cauliflower, zucchini and spinach—contain over 90% water. If you’re looking for more of a meal, create a Greek yogurt bowl topped with fruits and healthy fats. Or, if you want to shake things up, put your protein powder, fruits, veggies and fluid in a blender and make a hydrating smoothie.

3. SWITCH YOUR SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements in pill form might be convenient, but using powders that need mixed with fluids can contribute to your daily fluid intake. Mix your powdered pre-workout or BCAA with water as a flavorful way to support energy or muscle recovery. If you still feel your focus fading, products that also contain caffeine–such as Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiN.O. Energy + Electrolytes–can help support mental alertness and get you back on track to crushing your goals.

Don’t wait until you’re leaving for a workout to think about your hydration strategy. That big water bottle is a great start, but incorporating hydrating foods into your diet and supplements for support may make the difference between taking on challenging training—or taking a break before you really hit your stride.

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