Water is a pretty important thing in our sport. Without it we don’t have one! But aside from the water that surrounds us daily, the most important thing about water is how much we drink. Hydration plays a key role in how our bodies function and in turn, how we feel. For athletes, the demand for water becomes greater and the consequences of dehydration are much more severe. Because wakeboarding is typically done outside with the sun, heat, and wind, dehydration is much more likely to be a problem.
According to the US Geological Survey, “Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten.” This means water is one of the most important components to nutrition!
Because water is used to regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, move waste, and dissolve nutrients, water plays an important role in our daily bodily functions. The effects of dehydration can be felt many ways:
- sore joints
- poor concentration
- muscle weakness
- dark urine
- excessive thirst
- decreased metabolism
The unfortunate thing about dehydration, is that when you begin to feel the effects, dehydration has already set in. This makes it even more important to be properly hydrated ahead of time. It is recommended to drink 8 8oz glasses of water daily. As this is just a general rule, for athletes, this amount should be higher. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they are dehydrating in themselves, and beware of extra sugar and calories in sports drinks and juices. The best way to hydrate is with regular water! Remember to carry water bottles with you, especially to the gym, outdoor activities, and especially on the boat or at the cable when riding!