We have always been encouraged by our doctors, athletes, and boxing experts to sustain a sufficient intake of water and many have emphasized the importance of hydration. Drinking water (Hydration) is perhaps the easiest job for us to do to ensure that we stay healthy and fit; no matter how easy the task is, water plays a very vital role in helping our body to function properly.
60% of our body is made out of the water, and it is because of the fluidity that water supplies to our body that the blood in our body is easily circulated throughout our body. If your body is denied the recommended amount of water, then your blood finds it hard to circulate properly and the body begins to show signs of dehydration that may include:
- Fatigue, the need to sleep
- Dry mouth, lips, gums, nostrils
- Low Blood Pressure
- Pain and discomfort in the muscles
- Feeling dizzy and lightheaded
- Not urinating as regular
- Change in the color of urine to dark yellow
- Dry and patchy skin
All these symptoms of dehydration can vary in severity and its worst dehydration can even cause death. Hence it is highly recommended that an individual should drink a sufficient amount of water every day and take this habit very seriously.
Why Athletes need to do hydration
Although drinking water and remaining hydrated is recommended to everyone despite their career choice or way of life; athletes are especially expected to take the habit of drinking water even more seriously, because they are more prone to being dehydrated. One of the major ways of becoming dehydrated is when you sweat a lot, and athletes because of the nature of their career they are always active and always working out, hence they are more likely to sweat and become dehydrated.
For athletes water does more than just sustain a healthy circulation of blood, water helps to maximize their performance as active athletes. The more you exercise, the more you will sweat hence the more important it is to replenish yourself and drink water.
Hydration For an athlete, a sufficient supply of water helps to:
- Make muscles, joints, and tissues more flexible and elastic. This is extremely important because of the vigorous training athletes are required to do; they need to have flexible muscles that are prone to muscle injury. Sufficient intake of water will also help increase an athlete’s recovery from muscle and soft tissue injuries.
- Water also helps to wash away and filter the body from toxins and other poisonous elements in the body that may compromise their performance.
- A healthy intake of water will allow a healthy flow of vitamins and minerals in the body through an improved circulation of blood.
- Water also helps to improve your immunity by increasing the production of mucus in the body.
- Water will also help to regulate an athlete’s body temperature and keep it balanced no matter what the weather may be. Many athletes rigorously train in hot temperatures and water helps to keep the body cool.
- Water also helps to ensure that your digestive system is running smoothly.
What can cause Dehydration?
Sweating, not drinking enough water, and working out are not the only reasons for becoming dehydrated although they might be the obvious and most common reasons. Other reasons may include
- the level of humidity in the air
- excessive drinking of coffee
- excessive drinking of alcohol
- the temperature outside; yes in the summers we tend to feel more thirsty because we sweat a lot, but in the winters a lot of people make the common mistake of not drinking enough water, however, it is just as important.
- And the intensity of your workout; if you are training very hard then you should be drinking plenty of water.
Symptoms of being dehydrated
Imagine yourself running under the sun and feeling very hot, initially, your body will sweat out a lot, but at a certain point, you feel yourself absorbing the heat and realize that you’re not sweating enough then that is one of the first signs of being dehydrated. Drink water immediately.
What Happens when boxers don’t drink enough water
Boxing is an extremely intense and difficult sport that demands a lot from a boxer; there is rigorous nonstop training involved and once a boxer is involved in their training they can easily lose track of time, ending up training for hours long. Boxers also have very high endurance and threshold for pain; hence if at any point they do begin to feel pain in their muscles they will tend to ignore it, assuming it’s part of their regular training. However, fatigue, soreness, and muscle pains are blatant signs of dehydration. If boxers do not take drinking water seriously then they will most likely:
- Become more liable to muscle damage and soft tissue injury: the muscles, soft tissue, and joints tend to lose their elasticity with excessive loss of water; hence their muscles will become weak. Boxing is a weight lifting and muscle-centric sport so the boxers will essentially be compromising the performance of their biggest and most important asset.
- Begin to feel dizzy and light-headed: for a boxer, balance and a clear mind are extremely important to be able to concentrate on the game that they are playing. A boxer has to do more than just to deliver a few hard punches, they have to multitask by strategizing every move, keeping an eye on their opponent while their reflexes coordinate their hand and mind movement. If a boxer finds themselves dehydrated then they will not be able to concentrate properly, and no boxer would want to fall over or faint during an intense match!
Recommended Water Consumption for Boxers
Boxers are recommended to drink water as soon as they wake up to ensure that their body temperature is fine, they have a sufficient supply of electrolytes, and that they remain well hydrated.
Before you begin your workout you are recommended to drink at least 1 to 1.5 liters of water about an hour or two before the workout begins. And also during the training, the boxer should drink 1 to 1.5 liters of water by sipping on water during intervals.
A water bottle should be made a mandatory part of the boxing gear that an athlete carries. After all, a filled bottle of water is just as important as the boxer’s gloves, shoes, and other protective gear!