As a figure skater, you are constantly on the move. Whether rushing to and from practice at the rink, swiveling across the ice for extended periods of time or dealing with the ups and downs of mastering that next-level jump, it’s hard work. But you know that it takes patience, determination and, above all else, a well-nourished body to be the best skater you can be.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to make sure your body is functioning at its peak performance. We took a look at what leading athletic research has to say about staying hydrated before, during and after intense physical activity so that you can continue to skate and feel your best!
There are no off days. Your body needs hydration the day before strenuous exercise, as well as the day of. Be sure to drink water and stay hydrated even on your days off.
Be proactive. Thirst is a signal of dehydration or oncoming dehydration. Figure skaters training in climate-controlled rinks are less likely to notice symptoms of dehydration than athletes training in warmer weather. Always make an effort to hydrate before feeling thirsty.
Think about the bigger picture. Being dehydrated by just one to two percent under normal levels can significantly reduce stamina, physical strength and endurance – all necessary factors for skating at peak performance.
Consider sports drinks in addition to water. Water is best for hydration, but sports drinks should be used to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates if training for more than 60 minutes.
Consume caffeine in moderation. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine (200-300 mg a day for most adults) can help with stamina, alertness and reaction time on the ice. Be aware that consuming too much caffeine can lead to excessive bathroom breaks, making it more difficult to stay properly hydrated.
Always come prepared. Have a water bottle handy during training and competition. Reusable bottles marked in 100-mL increments can serve as helpful reminders to drink throughout a workout.
Don’t overdo it. Aim to drink four to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes during a workout to replace sweat and other exercise-induced water losses, but always listen to your body. Overhydrating tends to occur when athletes try to drink a prescribed amount of water as opposed to replenishing fluid according to the body’s needs.
Follow through. Drinking water and sports drinks after a workout is just as important as during. Hydration facilitates muscle recovery, removes wastes and toxins, restores glycogen and helps prepare the body for the next workout.
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