Boxing It’s in Your Blood

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Wet Your Whistle

Wet Your Whistle

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Oh yeah! The virtues of H2O. It’s time to praise them again.

Your total body weight is made up of approximately 50% water, with as much as 75% contributing to your muscle mass, so there’s no denying the importance it plays for an athlete.  It’s vital not only to the average human being, but especially a fighter who is constantly drawing on those reserves in order to perform at peak.

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Even when you fully understand the important role it can play, it can sometimes still be difficult to constantly carry a water bottle with you or keep your body hydrated at all times.  Aside from having access to a fountain all day or your water bottle always at your fingertips, there are other ways to increase your intake of the much needed liquid fuel known as water.

Although nothing satisfies quite as well as unadulterated, pure drinking water, you can also get your daily intake of water from some of the foods you eat.  The common rule of thumb is that if it’s juicy it’s probably a water-rich food and can help you reach your daily hydration goals, which should be about 64 ounces per day.

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Some of the best water-rich foods include:

Watermelon
Strawberries
Grapes
Cucumbers
Tomatoes
Oranges
And any variety of melons

Whether you’re getting your H2O from natural drinking water or water rich foods, It’s always better to overindulge than take-in too little.  In many cases, if you wait until you’re thirsty to get a drink, then you’ve already started to become dehydrated.  Allowing yourself to get, or even worse to remain, in a state of dehydration can quickly affect various aspects of your athletic performance.  It can slow your reflexes, affect your ability to focus, decrease your metabolism and make your muscles week.  Aside from just supplying your body with the basic nutrients it needs, water also helps to move toxins through your system. For a fighter who has to be at peak performance levels at all times, Even a slight decrease in performance can spell the difference between a win or defeat.

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Water forms the foundation for all fluids in the body, from the blood flowing through your veins to the nutrient rich cells that allow you to thrive and survive.  If you want to be able to leave it all on the mat and everything you have in the gym, you have to at least give your body the core sustenance it needs to perform.  Water might not be as tasty as a sugar-laden sports drink, as convenient as a Milky Way bar or as filling as a Big Mac, but it should be the most important thing you carry in your gym bag.  A general rule of thumb is; when you get out of bed, before you sit down to eat a meal, before you hit the gym and immediately after you’re done with your workout, grab water first…if you want to last.

Spencer Ward is a Nutritionist with the Acupuncture Center in Overland Park KS.