Avoid Pre-Race Dehydration

Hacks for staying hydrated during pre-race travel

Did you know that even a two-percent drop in body weight due to dehydration diminishes athletic performance? Tip the scales with a five-percent body-weight loss due to dehydration, and you’re looking at a decreased athletic capacity by a whopping 30 percent! Drop your levels even lower, and you’re looking at a pretty darn miserable day.

Suffice to say that dehydration is a major performance sabotager that’s relatively easy to avoid. But how do you stay hydrated during your pre-race travel day, especially when your travel plans include lots of airtime with dry air? Here are four simple steps to staying in the blue while you travel to a race.

1- Bring your own reusable water bottle.

… And make it a big one. Fill it as soon as you get through security and make an effort to drink throughout your flight. When flight attendants come around with the beverage and snack service, they will gladly refill your bottle, too. This is a good time for seconds, which leads us to number two.

2 - Drink more water than you think you need.

Airplane air is dry and dehydrating, so you need more water than you think you do to maintain the same level of hydration. Think about how much you usually drink and try to double that. If you’re on a plane for more than ninety minutes, you will probably need to use the restroom.

3 - Add flavors to your water instead of consuming soft drinks.

If you really can’t stand plain water, add herbs, fruit or electrolyte drink tablets (like nuun) to your reusable water bottle and then fill it with water before you board the plane. Consuming sugary and caffeinated drinks counters your hydration efforts. If it’s bubbly you’re after, opt for a glass of seltzer (in addition to your bottled water).

4 - Avoid alcohol.

Like caffeine and sugar, alcohol is a diuretic. Plus, drinking in the air might make you feel even worse later. Save the booze for post-race celebration, or during your travels home. …

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