Our body constitutes almost 60% of water, which shows how vital water is to us. We always hear how hydration is crucial and the various ways we can ensure that we stay hydrated. So how much of it is useful information? Here are 6 myths about hydration you need you need to stop believing.
Myth 1: 8 cups of water a day is enough
Truth: 8 is not the magic number behind hydration. This rule tends to fail as a person’s weight, surrounding climate and thirst play an important role. The truth is that your body has a way of letting you know that you need water through thirst. Quench your thirst, and this is more than enough to hydrate you.
Myth 2: Drink as much as possible before you start the race
Truth: Filling up yourself with a lot of fluids before a race will make you run for the loo and not for the race. Overhydration can make you nauseous and mess your blood glucose level. It’s always best to hydrate as you go by taking little sips.
Myth 3: Water is not enough, and you need a sports drink to keep yourself hydrated.
Truth: Sports beverages indeed provide you with the necessary energy as they are packed with sugars. This works during races as it maintains blood glucose levels. But for a run of 60 to 90 minutes or less, water is enough to keep hydrated.
Myth 4: Measure your hydration by your fastest friend.
Truth: Every individual is different and has different limits. Surrounding factors also impact your thirst level. Sweat ratio between each person will differ; this determines the thirst factor. So it’s best not to compare your hydration requirement with a friend.
Myth 5: Drinking lots of water will detox your body
Truth: Excess water intake will not clean your body. Drinking excessive water increases the load to your kidneys and can cause overhydration. Overhydration should best be avoided as it can make you feel nauseous and mess with your blood sugar level apart from setting your kidney on overdrive.
Myth 6: Caffeine causes dehydration
Truth: Caffeine does have the ability to burn your carbohydrates to some extent, but can dehydrate you. There is, however, no proper evidence found to prove that caffeine intake can cause massive dehydration.
Watch out and take accountability for yourself. Your body, fitness level influence daily hydration needs, running speed, the clothing you wear and the weather. A promising rule of thumb: Pay attention to the color of your urine throughout the day. If it’s dark yellow, you need to increase your water intake.