Most athletes who compete in combat sports are well aware of the importance of hydration. On the surface level, this is common sense to keep hydrated, but it is easier said than done and it can slip through the cracks as we progress through our day. There can be factors that we do not even realize are affecting our water intake.
Factors That May Affect Water Intake
- Environmental - The temperature and humidity in your area can have an impact on your water intake. If the temperature is cold, we may not feel as inclined to drink water because it can cool our body further. If the weather is hot and dry, naturally we are going to seek out water.
- Physical feedback - You do not want to wait for your body to give you symptoms such as overheating, a dry mouth, or even headaches to address your hydration. Once you begin seeing symptoms of dehydration your are already in a serious water deficit. If water is available, you should never wait to receive physical feed back from your body.
- Personal Preference - It is natural to want to replenish your thirst with enjoyable beverages. Most drinks beat the taste of water. Natural juices, kombucha, iced coffee, sports drinks. These are great and have their place in moderation but there should still be an effort made to consume pure water. We may be masking our thirst with other beverages but our bodies still need to be properly supplied with pure water. Water should be your primary drink of choice.
- Busyness - If your day is filled with tasks and you are getting stuff done it can be easy to forget about your water intake. This is also true if you are at school or work for the majority of your day. You should not wait to have down time to drink water. Make a conscious effort to consume water no matter how busy you are.
- Habit - Daily habits are most likely the greatest contributor to water intake. If you make it a habit to begin implementing a higher water intake throughout your day you will see a significant difference in your hydration levels. If your habits include coffee, soda, and other drinks, it can be easy to neglect your water intake.