The most important nutrient in your body is water. As a Combat Fighter staying hydrated is extremely important for optimal training. Although this is imported many fighters neglect drinking water and end up dehydrated or suffer from reduced performance
Our bodies are approximately made up of 70% water by weight, and it is needed for nearly every body function, including digestive processes.
Because you train at a high intensity multiple times throughout the week, as a fighter you need to be drinking water before, during and after training along with throughout the day.
The average fighter needs much more than the standard 64oz of water to function optimally. Because we are training at high intensity multiple times per week you want to shoot for 80-100oz of water per day.
Measuring Your Water Intake Daily: Below is a breakdown of how much water you should drink (not including during your training sessions) each day in order to facilitate fat and weight loss per measurement.
6-8 Glasses of Water
4-5 20oz Bottles of water
10 cups of water
Keep in mind that these are just general guidelines, and that each individual is different and will need to adjust the recommended water intake to their bodies and training routines.
A sure-fire and easy way to determine if you are hydrated is to monitor the color of your urine. As a rule of thumb, if the urine is clear or light yellow you are properly hydrated, if the urine is a darker yellow or cloudy you are dehydrated. (Because of multivitamins some people’s urine will be bright yellow, almost fluorescent. That is due to the multivitamins and should not be indication of your hydration level)
While in Thailand I had a couple of training sessions per day and with the heat well over 100 degrees and training outside for 2-3 hours, It was essential that I drank water all the time, starting as soon as I got up each morning.
Here is a quick video on how drinking water as soon as you wake up can kick-start your day and help to optimize your training
Reason 1: Prevent Dehydration
Training at a high intensity like MMA and Combat Athletes will cause a greater output of overall water (i.e. sweating). If you are not drinking enough water during training this can cause dehydration and multiple problems.
Dehydration causes a reduction in your blood and plasma volume, which causes your heart to work harder, increased heart rate and a negative impact on your cardiovascular ability.
Dehydration also increases your blood lactate levels, which causes you to fatigue faster. It will decrease your VO2 max and increase body temperature, which results in risk of overheating
Tip: Make sure you drink water and only water during training sessions. Having energy drinks or beverages like Gatorade (Powerade) will make you fatigue much quicker due to its sugar content. Sugar causes an increase in blood sugar levels that is followed up by a huge reduction which will l make you feel more tired.
Save the Gatorade drinks for after you train to help replenish electrolytes lost during training. And STAY AWAY FROM ENERGY DRINKS ALL TOGETHER – THEY SUCK!!!!!
Reason 2. Increase Your Metabolism
When you are not drinking enough water your body’s metabolism will slow down. Since water is needed for almost all bodily functions, without the optimal amount your metabolism and other systems are not working at full potential. The slower your metabolism the less fat and calories you will burn. Drink more water to help improve your body functions including metabolism.
Tip: Drink cold water when you are NOT training, as the body has to metabolize the water to bring down to body temperature increasing your metabolic rate.
Reason 3 – Recovery and Performance
In order for our bodies to operate and recover properly it is essential that that we are fully hydrated. Water acts as a lubricant for our joints, regulates our body temperatures, balances electrolyte concentrations, and plays a key role in stamina and endurance. If our bodies are not properly hydrated we are also putting ourselves at significantly higher risk of injury.
In summary, the most important take away here is that we could all probably be drinking more water than we currently do, especially those putting in intense training sessions in a combat sports like Mma, BJJ, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, Karate and others by keeping ourselves fully hydrated with lots of water we will perform better, feel better, and avoid injuries.
Tips On When, Where and How You Can Incorporate You Water for the Day – Laura D – Fit to Eat
• Immediately when you wake up
• While you are getting ready in the morning
• To and from work (on your commute)
• While you are watching television or a movie
• With your meals
• At your desk
• While you are in meetings
• In place of coffee or soft drinks
• When you are travelling – on the bus, on a train, on the subway
• In your car to and from any destination
Keep well hydrated by finding creative ways to incorporate water throughout your day. Here are a few ideas how to make sure you get your 10 cups a day: