This is a short post about water, I will, however, begin by talking about my other favourite drink, coffee. NOTHING resembling correct cognitive function will occur until I have supped down a double espresso, yes I did just admitted caffeine dependancy. I like my sleep and can’t ever remember feeling alert straight away from rising from slumber. Certainly not for an hour or so later. I did a plastering apprenticeship on leaving school for a few years before moving into sport full time, the alarm was set for 5.45am each morning, I would arrive at my bosses house slumped over my BMX handles, most of the time not really remembering the journey there. Even when training in the morning I need to be up, at minimum, 2 hours before the start of the session. This has the other benefit of giving food adequate time to digest too, but initially I did for the primary purpose of not being blurry eyed on the mat or in the gym.
I didn’t touch coffee until I was 24, considering it to taste like hot mud until then. After a friend told me about having an espresso when travelling to combat jet lag I followed suit when dropping off the cliff at a layover stop on the way to Japan; I was half dead to bouncing off the walls in about 30 minutes! I’ve used it ever since. For a year or so following my first coffee buzz, after dragging myself out of bed, the first I would do in the morning was head to the kettle. This was around the time that I began to have to really battle to get to the fighting weight of 73kg. I’ve always taken a keen interest in anything nutrition and have been privileged to work with professionals in the field.
Something I’d never taken as seriously as I should have was hydration; coffee then food to set myself up for the session, the first water that I would normally drink was during the first training of the day. I began reading a few articles on water loading as a method to make weight, although I only tried it to cut weight a handful of times, it did prompt me to look into my daily consumption of water. I am no scientist, most of the things I have tried have evolved from conversations with nutritionists or things that I’ve read. From what I understand consumption is very individual, we all require our own individual amounts of water, sodium, perspire at different rates etc. I largely go from how I feel, something I note down in my training diary.
I start each day now with a pint of cold water, I read somewhere that the body fires up the digestion system (and metabolism) to heat the water up so that it can pass through the kidneys, which can aid in fat burning, I have some more water whilst eating breakfast then, after around a litre I’ll have a coffee. I then carry a bottle around with me for most of the day, taking sips whenever I feel like it. For me I find that on non training days around 3 litres during the full day works well, anymore and I’m going to the toilet every 10 minutes. I adjust accordingly with whatever training that I may do. I felt so much better, more energy, my hunger was satisfied after food (very important for weight making athletes), digestive system was more effective (can be an issue in weight cuts, skin was better, my body just felt generally cleaner. I don’t particularly enjoy necking water first thing after getting out of bed, especially with the coffee machine looking at me while I’m at the sink, but putting up with it, and investing 10 quid on a decent bottle is definitely worth the benefits.