Improve your hydration for BJJ #2

Hydration for bjj

In a first article I spoke about the importance of diet on sport performances. Let’s speak now about hydration. You already know how important it is. So I will speak about the consequences of a lack of hydration and give you some useful advice from the book « Athletes, boost your performances naturally » from Françoise Couic Marinier and Pierre-Xavier Franck.

The effects of dehydration on performances and the organism

During physical workout sweating regulates the body’s temperature. That means a loss of water and sodium. Loosing 2℅ while doing an effort, that is to say 1kg for a 70kg person, is equal to a loss of 20% of performance! And it’s obvious that it increases depending on the volume of water you lose.

Beyond performances dehydration causes pains that we’ve all already had: muscular accidents, tendonitis, cramps, rise of the body’s temperature and heart rate, digestive and neurological troubles (tiredness, willing to stop, disorientation)

Despite these really negative effects we all have already cut weight by sweating in order to lose the last kilograms (or even grams) before a competition…

However, water removal 72 hours before an effort has very negative consequences on the organism and performances.

Which type of water to drink for an effort?

Indeed it’s the same question as for food because all the drinks don’t have the same nutritional values (mineral water, spring water or tape water)! There is a specific drink for:

  • Before training: to maintain the glycaemia level.
  • While training: to provide the essential elements to produce energy.
  • After training: to make recovery easier.

You might say that it’s becoming complicated? Don’t worry! Here is some practical advice:

  • Daily: drink water with a well-balanced composition in mineral salts (ex: Vittel, Evian etc.).
  • To prepare effort drinks: favor low mineralized water (ex: Volvic).
  • After an effort: choose water filled with sodium to recover the loss caused by sweating, but also with bicarbonate to remineralize the organism and to get back normal blood acidity.

Finally keep in mind these two keys elements: diversify mineral waters and drink regularly.

Optimize your hydration with isotonic drinks for effort

Mineral waters are insufficient for efforts longer than one hour like Brazilian jiu-jitsu. To produce energy and optimize hydration a provision of carbs has to be provided.

Isotonic energy drinks are close to the blood composition and therefore bring a better hydration to the cells. It must be composed of:

  • Fast burning carbs for an immediate use.
  • Slow burning carbs that get active in an hour and a half after ingestion.
  • Mineral salts to counterbalance the loss through sweating.

Ideally drink a mouthful every 10 minutes for an average of 500ML/hour of effort. Of course it depends on climatic conditions.

Energy drinks vs. energizing drinks

Pay attention not to confuse energy and energizing drinks! The last are composed of caffeine, taurine and other nervous stimulants and bring no benefits to athletes. That’s quite the reverse. Acid and with a low rate of sodium they might cause digestive troubles and increase muscular injuries and dehydration risks etc. Their main success is only based on marketing (no, I won’t speak about my profession!).

A homemade effort drink

Personally I do not really appreciate chemical drinks so I really wanted to share a homemade recipe for an effort drink of this book:

  • Dilute caster sugar in a cup of green tea not too much infused.
  • Add lemon juice.
  • Complete with natural mineral water.
  • Add a pinch of salt.

It’s done! You only have to drink (ideally drink it within 24 hours, keep it in the fridge).

Now you have all the basics to concoct your menus and to choose the right drink to be in tip-top condition for jiu-jitsu.

In the next article you will find some advice to organize your meal depending on your training and competition schedule.