How hydration affects performance….at home, at work and at play.


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When we hear the words ‘nutrition’ and ‘performance’ our thoughts generally skew to visions of elite athletes and competition. While sports nutrition is a crucial aspect of elite performance, if we consider that each and every day, every single one of us is performing at something, considering our nutrition practices and specifically our hydration habits is a crucial component of peak performance whether we are trying to perform at work; at home; at school or at the gym.

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Keeping well hydrated and its link to performance is not always clearly explained. Sure we know that keeping well hydrated helps to keep us looking at feeling our best, but what about the performance related specifics?

At Work

First and foremost, keeping well hydrated ensures a number of cognitive pathways are functioning optimally. Whether you are retrieving information when giving a presentation, making important decisions quickly or developing cognitive pathways to determine strategy, performing when you are dehydrated has been shown to result in slower reaction times, poorer decision making and increased feelings of effort and exertion. All cognitive functions that we may often take for granted but which can be enhanced simply by drinking a little more of the clear stuff.

At Home

A conversation with any busy mum will reveal the full extent of the stress and pressure she is under from the minute she wakes up to the minute those little ones are put to bed each evening. Not only do mums need to be on their game all day, but dealing with the stress of managing little ones for hours and hours each day. Mums generally place the nutrition needs including hydration of the children way before her own, which means while the little ones often have their water bottle with them at all times, mum has barely managed to finish her tea or coffee once each day. Unfortunately for mums this means they are often dehydrated and much less equipped to deal with chronic stress which can result in increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure – all of which can be alleviated by the simple act of keeping well-hydrated.

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Play

Whether you are a recreational athlete, taking your kids to rugby or netball or aiming for a treadmill session at the gym after work each day, chances are you want to be at your best while you are doing it. Chances are, unless you are also focused on drinking at least a couple of litres of filtered water each day, you hit the field or the gym dehydrated. Not only does this mean the game or workout will be much harder, your performance, recovery, perceived exertion and reaction times will all suffer. All of which can be enhanced simply by enjoy a bottle of filtered water before your training, game or gym session. The easiest way to optimize performance on a daily basis.

*Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here.

Read how drinking more can also be the easiest way to lose weight in my recent blog post.

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