Enhancing Hydration For Your Clients

As trainers, we constantly encourage our clients to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. However, an often-overlooked aspect is the type of water they consume. You may have noticed that some clients, despite drinking ample water, find themselves needing to urinate frequently. This could be due to low mineral content in tap water, which lacks essential electrolytes.

Understanding the Issue

Historically, water was consumed directly from natural sources like rivers and springs, which are rich in minerals from the surrounding rocks. These minerals, or electrolytes, play a crucial role in various bodily functions. Modern tap water, however, often lacks these essential minerals, leading to less efficient hydration.

The Importance of Electrolytes

Electrolytes are vital for:
1. Optimal hydration
2. Muscular contraction, including heart function
3. Nerve function
4. Brain function
5. Physical performance
6. Exercise recovery
7. Recovery from illness

Electrolytes help the body retain fluid within cells, making hydration more effective.

Practical Recommendations for Trainers

To optimise your clients’ hydration, consider the following electrolyte intake strategies:

1. Morning Hydration: After 7+ hours of no hydration during sleep, starting the day with a pint of water is beneficial. For most people, plain water is sufficient. However, if engaging in early morning exercise or after a particularly dehydrating night, a small amount of electrolytes can be added.

2. During/After Intense Activity: Encourage clients to take electrolytes during or after sweating activities to replenish lost sodium and other electrolytes. This is particularly important for activities lasting longer than an hour.

3. Frequent Urination: If clients report frequent urination with regular water intake, suggest adding a low dose of electrolytes (about 1/4 to 1/2 of what they would take during exercise) to help retain fluid.

4. Post-Alcohol Hydration: After consuming alcohol, recommend electrolyte-enriched water to aid rehydration due to alcohol’s diuretic effects.

5. Increased Sweating: On hot days or during activities that cause excessive sweating, extra electrolytes can help maintain hydration levels. This is especially important for those who sweat heavily and lose significant amounts of sodium.

Encouraging Experimentation and Observation

Encourage your clients to try these recommendations and monitor the effects on their hydration, physical performance, and mental clarity. Observing the impact of proper electrolyte balance can significantly enhance their overall well-being and performance.

By incorporating these hydration strategies, you can help your clients achieve better results and improve their overall health. Remember, the quality of water matters just as much as the quantity.

Additional Expert Recommendations

– Pre-Hydration: Before exercise, clients should start hydrating with small amounts of water at least 4 hours prior, aiming for “euhydration” or optimal hydration. Including a small amount of sodium in pre-hydration fluids can also be beneficial.
– Hydration During Exercise: During prolonged or intense exercise, fluids should be consumed regularly to prevent significant fluid loss. Experts recommend drinking small amounts every 15-20 minutes, with added electrolytes for sessions lasting more than an hour.
– Post-Exercise Hydration: After exercise, the goal is to replace any fluid and electrolyte deficits. This can be achieved through a combination of water, electrolyte drinks, and food.

By implementing these expert-backed hydration strategies, you can ensure your clients stay properly hydrated, enhancing their performance and overall health.