We all know the importance of hydration in maintaining overall health and wellness. After all, our bodies are made of 60% of the life-sustaining liquid.
Water accounts for 92% of our plasma, which constitutes 55% of our total blood volume. It’s in all of the foods we eat and liquids we drink.
Yet, as crucial as water is, the importance it plays in regards to athletic performance is hardly ever emphasized. This is particularly baffling when you consider the fact that research has clearly shown that even as little as a 2% change in hydration status can significantly impair stamina and overall performance.
Not including intense exercise, we lose about 2 1/2 cups of water every day simply by evaporation from the skin and from breathing. We lose even greater amounts of water through urine and sweat, and hardcore workouts, ramp up that water loss even more!
In fact, you can lose up to 6% of your bodyweight in water when training.
To further complicate matters, hydration isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. An athlete’s hydration needs depend on the temperature and humidity of the environment they’re training in, as well as what type of clothing they’re wearing. For example, football players wearing their full uniform can experience the effects of dehydration in as little as 30 minutes!
Given the pivotal role water and hydration status plays in performance, let’s take a deeper look at the roles they serve as well as a few things you can use to ensure optimal hydration every time you train.
Water & Performance
Water serves a lot of important roles in our bodies, but when we’re focusing on how it impacts our ability to sustain a high level of performance, there are three key areas:
Regulate Core Temperature
When you exercise, your body temperature rises, and if your temperature rises too high above normal, unwanted stress is placed on your body. This can disrupt normal functioning of your energy systems, impacting performance and recovery.
Being properly hydrated helps regulate core temperature and keep you from “going into the red.”
Water is present in every cell of the human body, and since water has a high heat capacity (meaning it can absorb a lot of heat before changing temperature), it provides a “buffer” of sorts, protecting you from sudden changes in temperature.
Moreover, since blood is largely composed of water, it flow more to your extremities and the skin when you’re in danger of overheating. Water also evaporates from the skin and lunges to cool the body as well.
Oxygen and Nutrient Delivery
Building off the previous point, not only does the fluid in your body help regulate temperature, it’s also responsible for the absorption, transportation, and delivery of essential nutrients your mind and muscles need to perform optimally.
Essential macronutrients including protein, carbohydrates, and fats as well as important micronutrients used to generate energy are all transported by fluid in the body. In fact, water is used to split apart ATP (the cellular currency of energy) to create ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to produce the energy your muscles use to lift weights, run sprints, and jump over plyo boxes
Additionally, the water in your body also helps clear the metabolic waste that is generated during intense exercise. If these waste products aren’t removed, performance suffers, but more alarming is that it can lead to toxicity!
Regulates Blood Pressure
Finally, since water is a crucial component of blood, it plays a key role in the regulation of blood pressure, which stabilizes your heart rate. This, in turn, helps manage stress during training and afterwards, when you’re recovering.
When you’re dehydrated, your body begins to shut off some of its capillary beds. When this happen, blood pressure increases, as there’s less total space for the same amount of fluid in your body to flow.
One of the best ways to prevent these unwanted increases in blood pressure is by staying well-hydrated.
How Do I Stay Hydrated?
The answer that immediately jumps to the front of your mind is:
That’s partially correct, but it’s not that simple.
You see, water is a big part of proper hydration, but it’s not everything. You also need electrolytes, namely sodium (a.k.a. SALT).
Sodium helps your body absorb and retain the water you’re drinking. It also assists in the nerve impulses throughout your body that help your muscles contract and relax. So, while you might be drinking lots of water throughout the day, if you’re restricting sodium, there’s a good chance you’re not retaining a good deal of the water you’re drinking.
This is why so many sports drinks and intra workout supplements, such as Confined, contain a sizeable serving of sodium and other electrolytes. These essential minerals help replace what is lost through sweat and protect against dehydration.
In addition to sodium, there’s two other important supplements you should consider using when looking to improve hydration and performance:
Creatine & HydroMax — Cell Saturating Supplements
Most of you know creatine as the OG muscle building supplement. It’s been a favorite of bodybuilders, athletes, and recreational lifters for decades, and for good reason.
Creatine flat out works.
What makes creatine such an effective muscle builder is its ability to improve energy production in the body via increasing ATP generation. With greater supply of ATP, you recover quicker between sets and can grind out a few extra reps before succumbing to fatigue.
But that’s only half of creatine’s performance-boosting benefits.
Creatine also functions as an osmolyte in the body.[5,6]
What’s an osmolyte?An osmolyte is a compound that maintain cell volume and fluid balance.
In other words, creatine helps your cells (including the ones in your muscles) absorb and retain more water, which supports energy production and performance as well as protects against the dehydrating effects of exercise.
Another equally powerful cell-hydrating agent is HydroMax.
More about HydroMax
HydroMax is a high-yield form of glycerol, another osmolytic compound that transforms your cells into ultra-absorbent sponges that soak up extra water. This creates an intense swelling effect in the cell which improves hydration as well as muscle pumps and fullness.
In other words, not only does HydroMax improve your performance, it also helps your muscles look more shapely too!
Research has shown that glycerol supplements such as HydroMax lead to a state of hyper-hydration in athletes, which translates to greater endurance and dramatically less fatigue.[7,8]
What’s really interesting is that HydroMax improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance, making it effective for both endurance (“slow twitch”) exercise and explosive (“fast twitch”) exercise, such as weight lifting or sprinting.
Combined, these two supplements help ensure superior hydration and performance, enabling you to train harder for longer and experience new heights in athletic excellence.
And, if you’re wondering where you can find these two supplements, we’ve got just the thing you need in…
Locked Down for Hydration, Performance, and Pumps!
Locked Down is the supreme hydration and performance supplement every athlete needs. Each serving of Locked Down delivers 5 grams of pure creatine monohydrate alongside 3 grams of HydroMax as well as a full gram of L-Taurine, another cell hydration supplement.
With Locked Down, your muscles have the added insurance they need to guard against the dehydrating effects of exercise while also powering you across the finish line.
What’s really unique about Locked Down is the synergism between its ingredients. Including creatine alongside HydroMax and L-Taurine helps improve absorption of the natural muscle builder and ensure that every gram of the cell-saturating, energy-boosting supplement is absorbed.
If you regularly push your body to the limit and sweat buckets during training, you need Locked Down. Not only will you guard against dehydration, you’ll also experience superior pump and performance!
- American College of Sports Medicine (1996) Position stand on exercise and fluid replacement. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 28(1):i-vii.
- Noakes, TD (1993) Fluid replacement during exercise. Exerc. Sports Sci.Rev. 21:297-330.
- Mathews, DK, Fox, EL, and Tanzi, D (1969) Physiological responses during exercise and recovery in a football uniform. J. Appl. Physiol. 26:611.
- Burg MB, Ferraris JD. Intracellular Organic Osmolytes: Function and Regulation. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2008;283(12):7309-7313. doi:10.1074/jbc.R700042200.
- Alfieri RR, Bonelli MA, Cavazzoni A, et al. Creatine as a compatible osmolyte in muscle cells exposed to hypertonic stress. The Journal of Physiology. 2006;576(Pt 2):391-401. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2006.115006.
- Patlar S, Yalçin H, Boyali E. The Effect of Glycerol Supplements on Aerobic and Anaerobic Performance of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects. Journal of Human Kinetics. 2012;34:69-79. doi:10.2478/v10078-012-0065-x.
- van Rosendal, S. P., Osborne, M. A., Fassett, R. G., & Coombes, J. S. (2010). Guidelines for glycerol use in hyperhydration and rehydration associated with exercise. Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 40(2), 113–129. https://doi.org/10.2165/11530760-000000000-00000