Hydration for Archers
What is Hydration? Simple! Drinking fluids that help you keep your body moist. What does that? Mostly water based stuff, like fruit juice, water, decaffeinated coffee and decaffeinated tea, diet decaffeinated soda, sports drinks; but not sugary drinks, coffee or tea. The sugary drinks bump up how our body works, including our kidneys and bladder so we urinate (pee) more. Caffeine in coffee, tea, cola drinks, power drinks, some sports drinks and alcohol cause our kidneys to pump out more water so we have to urinate more often. The drinks with sugar or caffeine dehydrate us.
How much fluid do we need during a day? It matters how much you perspire (sweat), how hot it is, how dry it is and what you are doing. The more active you are or the hotter it is or the dryer it is you need more fluids. When you are in hot weather or dry weather or are physically active you need to drink 1 oz of fluid per pound of body weight or a minimum of 2 liters of fluid per day for an adult or about 1-2 liters of fluid per day for a youth or adolescent. The minimum fluid can be changed by the weather or physical activity. The hotter, dryer or more active then you need more fluid than the minimum amounts!
What kind of fluid do you want to drink? Water is best. If you are very actively perspiring, or breathing heavily in dry weather then a good sports drink is best or water and then a good snack of fruit or nuts to replenish the minerals you are losing to the perspiration.
When you do not get enough fluids, then you get dehydrated. Dehydration is bad for us; even 2% to 3% dehydrated and our nervous system does not work well. In other words you cannot shoot well. 2% or 3% dehydrated is where most Americans are all the time. Plain and simple, we need to drink more water! (Severe dehydration is deadly. When a person is severely dehydrated they begin to tremble, lose focus, lose consciousness, lose control of their body and will lose their life if not addressed by medical personnel. But dehydration is difficult to predict.)
When can you recognize dehydration? Only when it is too late. We must prevent dehydration by drinking before we become dehydrated. If you are urinating 3-4 times a day this is good indication that you are properly hydrated (as long as it is not from caffeinated drinks). If you are not urinating then you are dehydrated and you need to drink NOW.
So Prevent Dehydration by drinking water all the time!