ou’re training hard, you’re doing your roadwork. You’re pushing yourself to the limits every session, but you still feel sluggish and slow every time you train. Your reactions are slow, your fatigued and you’re probably screaming why am I not improving what more can I do! 

I’ve been there and it is extremely aggravating at the best of times but I might just have the answer you have overlooked. Hydration. Are you fully hydrated? Most of us probably know that dehydration can make us feel tired and drowsy at the best of times. Now with all your extreme training and efforts it is now even more paramount that your body gets the correct amount of fluids and you go into every session hydrated!

Bagwork In Thailand

Dangers of dehydration 

Training or fighting when dehydrated can be very dangerous. It weakens your mental function which can negatively affect your:

  • motor control,
  • decision making,
  • and concentration.

All three of those traits are extremely important in Muay Thai. With it being one of the most dangerous fast-paced combat sports in the world, a lapse in concentration could cause you to get seriously hurt. This is something we want to try to avoid in fights let alone training! The whole sport is revolved around fast decision making and being agile. So to be slowed down by dehydration is very problematic. You have probably had those spars where you get punched and you literally feel like your brain is rattling inside your head. Well, guess what, you were probably dehydrated. 

How to prevent dehydration 

So you get the picture, staying hydrated will improve your performance in training and stop you feeling tired. 

Preventing dehydration is simple, just drink water! No, I’m kidding it is not that simple. Well it is, but there’s more to it. The amount that each person requires to stay hydrated differs. This is based on various things, weight, muscle mass, height, etc. For example a 90kg 6ft 3 male will require more water than a 50kg 5ft 3 female. I will go into this in a bit more detail in a minute so stay with me.

From personal experience I have found that whatever this amount of water is, needs to be spread out across the day. You will not be as hydrated if you drink only a few minutes before you train. What I like to do is fill up a 2L water bottle twice daily and take a few sips every 30 mins throughout the day. This way I can ensure I’m hydrated when I come to train.

How Much Fluid Do I Need?

Your body needs different amounts of water before, during, and after exercise. 

  • Pre-workout
    Drink 500ml-600ml of water two to three hours before exercise
    Drink 200ml – 600ml of fluid 20 to 30 minutes before exercise
  • During workout
    Drink 200ml-300mlof fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
  • Post-workout
    Drink an additional 200ml of fluid 30 minutes after exercise
    Drink 400ml to 700ml of fluid for every 0.5kg of body weight lost during exercise 

On average you need 2 – 4 litres throughout the day. This is variable depending on your weight and amount of water you lose during training.

Here’s the simple formula:

  • Weight (before exercise) — weight (after exercise) = fluid loss

So, if you weigh 70kg before exercising, but weigh only 69kg after exercising, you have lost 1kg of water weight.

To replace the amount of water your body has lost: Drink 700ml (3 cups) for every half a kilo lost (0.5kg). So, 700ml X 1kg = 1.4 Litres (or 6 cups of water).

Be fit! Just be sure not to sabotage your workouts—stay hydrated

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