Senshin: The Enlightened Mind

Martial Arts Blog

normrobitza On August - 7 - 2014

knowledge-hydration1Staying hydrated is important when you are physically active. As you exercise, your body cools itself by sweating. This in turn uses up all of the fluid in your body that is critical to survival. Make sure drink often while you train.

The heat of the summer is going to add to your dehydration. If you are sweating, you should be hydrating every 20 minutes. So make sure you have lots of fluid near by when you are training. Take a minute break to hydrate. I don’t think your instructor will have a problem with this. It is better to let students take a break and stay conscious then have to perform first aid on them.

Now what is your best choices for hydration?


Water is the natural choice from hydration. Water will hydrate you better than any other liquid. It is less expensive and more readily available. Most gyms/dojos have a water fountain or at least a sink. Bring a water bottle. Your body requires 4-6 ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise. Now some people do not like the blandness of water while others love water. If you do not like the taste then you will probably not drink enough to get fully hydrated. Water is the best but only if you are going to drink it.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are a misconception. They are believed to be the superior product for hydration. However, because of taste and all the hype, you are likely to drink a larger amount of sports drinks which will lead to good hydration. Sports drinks provide something that water does not, electrolytes and carbohydrates. They are also flavoured but the sweetness will not quench thirst. Stay away from energy drinks. They are full of caffeine and are not healthy.


Juice may be healthy and taste great but it is no the best choice for hydration. The fruit sugar, known as fructose, causes the rate of water absorption to be greatly reduced. This means that your cells will not get hydrated very quickly. Juice has carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes but it is not a great thirst quencher. Most people don’t drink a lot of juice.

Carbonated Soft Drinks

Carbonated soft drinks, aka soda pop or just pop to some, are not good for the body. The acid used to carbonate and flavor these beverages will cause severe damage to your teeth. It can cause weakening of bones and diminishes your immune system. Soft drinks have no nutritional value. If you do not like water, sports drinks or juice and soda is your only choice, stay away from drinks with lots of sugar or caffeine. Sugar and caffeine will slow rate of hydration.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and team can sabotage hydration. Both are diuretics which means they cause your kidneys to pull more water of of your bloodstream. Most people add milk of sugar which will reduce the rate of water absorption even further. They are also hard to drink at the dojo. Save your tea ceremony for after the dojo!

Alcoholic Beverages

A beer is great for after the game but only if you are the spectator and not the athlete. Alcohol causes the body to become dehydrated. It is by far the worse choice for keeping you hydrated well maybe seawater might be worse.

The bottom line is pick which beverage is the best for you. Make sure you take a break every 20 minutes and ingest 4-6 ounces. My personal choice to stay hydrated is water with a squirt of MIOS. That way I can have water with some electrolytes. Spit the water slowly and don’t gulp it.

Stay hydrated and train hard.

Categories: Teaching/Training

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