This week we will be covering Hydration. I learned very early on in derby that drinking water during games and practices as well as in the days and hours leading up to practice made a huge impact on how I performed both in the game/practice and the after party. In fact, after my first game, I was literally sick for 2 days because I lost so much water and electrolytes during the bout. So key point to remember, roller derby is like we used to say in college....drink early and drink often....except this time I mean water.
You are losing 2 key elements when you sweat. What does this mean for you and your derby performance?
When you sweat you lose water. Losing water results in a drop in your blood volume (yes blood is mostly water) which means that your heart will now have to work harder to circulate the blood through your body. This can result in muscle cramps, dizziness, and fatigue. Yeah, water is THAT important!
When you sweat you also lose electrolytes.
WTF do electrolytes do anyways??? Basically they are electrically charges ions/particles that are required for regulating the balance within your body on a cellular level. So not only do normal body functions rely on these little guys, but performance can be greatly impacted by a loss of electrolytes as well.
How much water are we supposed to get anyways?
Take your body weight in pounds and divide it by two. That's how many ounces of water you should drink on a daily basis. For example, I am 200lbs so I drink 100 ounces of water PLUS any additional water during my workouts.
When do I need to supplement electrolytes?
Unless you are working out heavily for over an hour, water will typically be an acceptable form of hydration. When getting your sweat on for an hour or more you may want to consider an electrolyte supplement. Current research shows there are 3 key pieces to look for in a hydration supplement. 1)Carbs 2)Electrolytes 3)Protein
Your body burns carbs as an easy access energy source. If you are working out for over an hour, you can sometimes get low blood sugar or what I call "Getting the stupids"...where its hour 1.5 of practice and you are scrimmaging after a hard endurance session and you feel a bit worn down and dizzy and you can't for the life of your remember you pivot's name and everything everyone does or says seems funny... this is usually a sign of low blood sugar. Because your brain also runs on glucose (sugar) you will want to get some quick carbs to replenish both your body and mind.
Keep away muscle cramps and keeping your body going on a cellular level
Yes I said protein. Are you confused? Well here's the deal. As you workout, you damage your muscle. This damage results in muscle protein breakdown. Your body will actually start taking the protein from your muscle as an energy source. One way to avoid this is to drink protein during workouts. Doing so will minimize muscle protein breakdown during your workout and actually help to speed muscle recovery after your workout.
So where do you get all 3?
Well, you can drink a bottle of water, eat an apple, and drink a creamy protein drink, or you can do what I do. I use something called Prolong. I use a 1/2 serving during a 2 hour workout. Its an endurance drink designed by cyclists to prolong your ability to kick ass and take names (thus the name Prolong). Here is a video on why its awesome and why I use it. We are also offering a sweet hook up on Prolong for All Derby Drills readers. Email us for details.
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