This week's Speedo Tip of the Week comes from USA Swimming Team Physician Dr. Jim Miller. Dr. Miller, who also writes a monthly health column for the USA Swimming newsletter, offers advice on staying properly hydrated.
While most tennis players, soccer players and runners know the importance of hydration, swimmers frequently overlook this critical key to performance. Swimmers do not see the fluid loss, so most do not think about it. Here are some questions to consider that will impact how you approach hydration during a typical pool workout.
- How hydrated are you at the beginning of the training session?
- How many caffeinated drinks did you consume during the day, knowing that caffeine serves as a diuretic and depletes you of total body water?
- How many hours of training have you had today?
- How warm is the water that you are training in?
- Are you having problems with cramping as the practice goes on and on and on?
- Does it seem like regardless of where you are in your season, your last set is the weakest?
- Are you taking any medication that would affect hydration?
All of these questions may point to dehydration as a key factor that will affect the success of your training and performance.
So, how much should you drink during a typical practice? Typically, an athlete may loose between two to four pounds of water per two-hour training session, unless you have to offset one of the questions already posed. If any of these questions suggest that you are already in trouble, you may be even lower than two to four pounds already!
One to two large water bottles will help to keep your muscles maximize their performance. Start the first sips during warm-up and do not wait until you are thirsty. That is too late. You know that you have been successful if you need to urinate following practice and that urine is clear in color.
Finally, use only your own water bottle that you bring for your own use. Wash it out every day at home. Leave it open and let it dry out between sessions.
Remember, it is all in the water! For more tips like these delivered right to your inbox every month, sign up for the newsletter here.