Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Water

two water bottles

In the morning, I wake up with the day piled up in front of me. Little things like emails to be answered, volunteer hours to be submitted, that check to be deposited. Also I need more white socks. Big things like Am I going back to work or Am I going to try to be a freelance writer and fitness instructor for real this time.

Then always, first things first:

* drink water

You actually breathe out a little bit of moisture with every exhalation, so you're always a little bit dehydrated when you wake up. So it's a very good habit to drink a little bit of water as soon as you get up. I mean, I only partly do it to get my body going and mostly do it to get my mind back on track. Sometimes just a swallow of water in a tin cup.

But lately, I've discovered that I like drinking water out of these bottles. I don't know why particularly these bottles, but I do. If I set myself up with two bottles in the morning and finish them before I go to bed, I know I've drunk six cups or 48 fluid ounces. Your body can only absorb about a cup of fluid at a time, so it's better to sip water throughout the day than gulp it down, say, all before practice. I mean, guilty as charged. Also if you start off well hydrated, you just need small sips throughout practice to replace what you sweat out.

If you've never thought about why you need to keep hydrated, consider that your blood is circulating fuel to and waste away from your muscles. When your blood is well hydrated, it moves more fluidly and does a better job more easily. Your muscles don't tire because they're well fueled and waste like carbon dioxide and lactate is removed, and also your heart doesn't tire because it's easier to pump your blood. Your muscles also move more fluidly and easily when they're well hydrated. And finally, hydration promotes cell regeneration—i.e., muscle building— whereas dehydration causes muscles to break down.

It's also important that I keep myself well hydrated, because I've started taking, um, creatine. Don't holler! It actually got the okay from the American Dietetic Association in this really great article about sports nutrition:

Creatine has been shown to be effective in repeated short bursts of high intensity activity in sports that derive energy primarily from the ATP-creatine phosphate energy system such as sprinting or weightlifting, but not for endurance sports such as distance running.
What sport do you know where you sprint and hit for two minutes at a time? I found some sensible advice about dosing and didn't do a crazy load period, just a teaspoon in my orange juice every morning and a teaspoon in my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie after workouts. And you do have to stay hydrated to prevent muscle tears, but you should be staying hydrated to prevent that anyway.

I know, the sweetie man has not stopped making fun of me. Enough about that, I will let you know how it works.

I'm trying to get myself to go straight from drink water to, do not pass INTERNET:

* do stretches
* wash up
* wash dishes

I actually did sunrises this morning with half tricep pushups. Holla.

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