Is dehydration stopping you from reaching your fitness goals?
It isn’t news to anyone that hydration is key to physical and mental performance, yet research shows that 90% of Brits are not drinking the recommended 2L per day. So what? What impact does this really have on our bodies and, consequently, our physical and mental performance? And how can we level up our hydration and start achieving more?
Jamie Douglas-Hamilton is a 7 time Guinness World Record holder, ultra-endurance athlete, and founder of Actiph Water – Europe’s first and leading alkaline ionised water.
His own experiences of trying to stay hydrated during grueling trans-oceanic rowing expeditions led him to extensively research the role that water plays in our everyday lives and, in particular, in sports and fitness, in a bid to create the most complete, effective hydration solution possible.
In 2014, Jamie – as part of a 6 man crew – set off on a 5,000 mile row from Australia to Africa, across the treacherous Indian Ocean. Battling ocean currents, major storms and even a hurricane, they would row around the clock in two hour shifts, burning 8,000 – 10,000 calories per day. Unsurprisingly, they also had to drink a LOT of water; 9 – 13 litres every day.
The consequence of this was that crew members felt constantly weak and under energised and would often pass out and hallucinate. As they consumed this much purified water, they flushed essential electrolytes out of their bodies, causing physical performance to slump. One day, a member of the crew mixed his drinking water with a bit of sea water. The effect was profound; the crew had more energy, greater power and no more hallucinations! It was so effective they began mixing every second bottle of drinking water with saltwater to help replenish vital electrolytes and minerals that were being lost during the expedition, eventually going on to break the world record by 2 weeks!
So, what does this mean for those of us not unhinged enough to cross oceans in a rickety rowing boat?
Whilst you might not be pushing yourself to quite such extremes, the everyday effects of even mild dehydration are often ignored or misinterpreted. The afternoon energy dip, regular snack cravings, difficulty sleeping and staying energised, headaches, muscle aches and more are all key indicators that you’re dehydrated.
Within a fitness context, research suggests that loss of 2% bodyweight in fluids causes a noticeable dip in performance (physical & cognitive impairments, reduced reaction times, etc) while any more than this can start to cause serious issues. For context, athletes can lose 6-10% of their bodyweight in fluids whilst competing, so the importance of sufficiently hydrating before, during and after exercise is vital.
Not only this, but as Jamie’s experiences in the Indian Ocean demonstrated, not all water is created equal! Following extensive worldwide research, Jamie’s search for the ultimate in hydration led him to Japan where he discovered ionised water. Originally approved by the Ministry of Health to treat symptoms of digestive ailments such as IBS, Crohn’s and reflux, it is now widely consumed in Japan and acknowledged for its health benefits.
Scientifically proven to hydrate faster than regular water (Weidman et al, 2016) and serving as an effective, natural lactic acid buffer, Jamie recognised the power of alkaline ionised water for athletes (and indeed, for everyone!) and sought to bring it back to Europe. Now a huge trend in the USA – with famous consumers including NFL players, Beyonce and more – and growing rapidly in Europe, alkaline water is the zero calorie, zero caffeine, zero sugar way to charge up your workouts and achieve more every day.
Many of us reach for highly acidic foods and beverages to satisfy cravings and provide energy boosts, such as coffee, pre-workouts, etc. These dehydrate us further and lead to peaks & troughs that leave us feeling more tired once the short-term kick has worn off. By taking Shropshire spring water, adding a unique blend of electrolytes and ionising to pH 9+, Actiph provides a clean, smooth tasting alkaline alternative to our increasingly acidic diets.
With Actiph drinkers reporting higher, more sustained energy levels, reduced bloating and improved physical and mental performance, it’s time to start taking your hydration seriously and feeling the difference for yourself!
Head to Actiph.shop and enter code MYPT20 for 20% off. Sign up for a subscription and you’ll save a total of 30% off your first order!
*Weidman et al (2016), Effect of electrolyzed high-pH alkaline water on blood viscosity in healthy adults, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.