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Drinking Water for Peak Performance

Do you drink enough??

You probably know that its important to drink water when the temperature soars outside, but it is a daily necessity to stay well hydrated no matter what the temperature is. In fact, it is probably even more important in the colder weather when we have the heating on drying out the air that we breath.

Water keeps the body and its systems functioning properly and performs many important jobs within the body. If you don’t drink enough water each day you risk becoming dehydrated. This can be a common problem in the older generation as they do not sense thirst as much as when they were younger.

Warning signs of dehydration include

  • Weakness

  • Low blood pressure

  • Dizziness         

  • Confusion

  • Dark coloured urine

Generally healthy people should aim to drink 6 glasses (1.5 – 2 litres) of water a day.

Staying hydrated during physical activity is particularly important. It is quite common to lose up to 6% of our body weight in sweat loss during athletic / sporting events which could lead to dehydration if the fluids are not replaced.

However, much lower levels of dehydration, even 2%, can decrease an individuals’ physical performance. People engaged in physical activity that are even slightly dehydrated will experience

  • Reduced endurance

  • Increased fatigue

  • Lack of motivation

  • That it takes more effort to perform the activity

After periods of physical exertion, fluid intake may be inadequate due to a lack of feeling thirsty and the effects of dehydration could continue for several hours, therefore it is important to drink plenty of water regardless of whether you feel thirsty or not.

Physical activity in hot conditions with insufficient hydration can be associated with heart problems, stroke, low blood pressure and reduced blood flow to the muscles.

Children may be at a greater risk of dehydration due to the fact that they do not recognise the need to replace lost fluids after exercise. The recommendation for children is that they are well hydrated before they begin the activity and should drink fluids over and above their thirst threshold.

Lack of water can also be detrimental to cognitive function. Even mild dehydration causes alterations to our cognition such as

  • Reduced concentration

  • Short term memory difficulties

  • Impaired perception

  • Reduced arithmetic ability

  • Reduced accuracy and speed of reactions

So, to summarise, there are many benefits to drinking enough water including

  • Cushioning of the joints

  • Stabilising heartbeat

  • Normalising blood pressure

  • Aiding digestion

  • Preventing constipation

  • Preventing Uterine infections by flushing bacteria from the bladder

  • Keeping the kidneys healthy

  • Regulating body temperature

  • Protecting organs and tissues

  • Carrying oxygen and nutrients to the cells

  • Maintain sodium balance

  • Reducing headaches

  • Improving skin complexion

Our skin is approximately 30% water which contributes to the plumpness, elasticity and resilience of the skin, so even if you just want to maintain a youthful appearance it is worth drinking the recommended daily amount of water.

Keeping a record of how much water you drink each day will help to keep you on track, either with a tick chart or a water bottle that measures the amount that you drink.

If you would like more information on maintaining optimal health to ensure peak dancing performance, please get in touch.

Happy Drinking

Angela xx

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