Two things: 1) SUMMER is officially here in NC! Hello heat! 2) If you are trying to figure it out, NMM, is our oldest sons initials- Nolan Matthew Magnini. He is the subject of this blog post. Keep reading to understand how I’m connecting the dots!

If you don’t know, Nolan is a fast mover; never stops, up at 6:30am (lately 7am- YAY!) and can go until 10pm (Boo!). If it’s not his body moving, then it’s his mouth. And it’s been like this since the day he started to walk – which was never a walk but more like a run at 16-1/2 months. He moves at high speed constantly that I swear you can feel the heat off his body even when he’s still! This theme of speed carries over to how he approaches just about everything- think of the snickers commercial-he usually waits until it’s too late to eat and everyone is feeling his hangriness (is that a word?), to going to the bathroom- lots of car stories where it’s not an emergency till it truly is one, and as of late, fluids and hydration. Nolan just moves through life at lightning speed that he sometimes, ok a lot of times, forgets to tune into his body’s signals and cues.

So, all this brings me to talk to you all about hydration this summer season with regards to sport. Hence, the title, don’t be like Nolan! Sorry future grown up Nolan, if you’re reading this one day down, know that mom loves you and you are helping me out by proving a point! The big point I’m trying to instill is listen to your body and understand the cues and signals your body sends you. Nolan has been finding himself getting headaches about two times a week. I find myself becoming that broken record again and again with reminding him to drink water, stay hydrated, drink throughout the day, and even using my nutrition tips and tricks to help him get more water down the hatch. We’ve all heard it and I’ve preached it so many times, but hydration is essential especially for sports and sports performance. He plays 2 to 3, 90-minute baseball games a week sometimes after school and sometimes on the weekends. I’m willing to bet he hasn’t had much water or any kind of hydration. He’s been playing with these headaches and while he’s an 8-year old boy and powers through anything, you all know if that were any of us, our workouts and performance would suffer.

This brings me to some FAQ and tips when it comes to hydration:

How much water should I be taking in per day?
I’ve heard varying degrees from 64oz to 100oz. According to the professional group I am a part of (Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics), hydration status varies between individuals. The goal of hydration is to minimize dehydration and optimize sports performance (without over-drinking).

How do I know if I’m dehydrated or risk of dehydration?
A practical way to assess hydration is by urine color and sweat loss.
Urine Color: Urine color that is dark or the color of apple juice is an indicator of dehydration. Straw or lemonade color indicates proper hydration
Sweat Loss: It is normal to sweat in exercise and those losses should be replaced after exercise. Dehydration results when athletes fail to adequately replace fluid lost through sweating. Since dehydration that exceeds 2 percent body weight loss harms exercise performance, athletes are advised to begin exercise well hydrated, minimize dehydration during exercise and replace fluid losses after exercise.
What are some conditions that may put you at risk for dehydration?
Air Temperature: The higher the temperature, the greater your sweat losses.
Intensity: The harder you work out, the more you perspire.
Body Size and Gender: Larger people sweat more. Men generally sweat more than women.
Duration: The longer the workout, the more fluid loss.
Fitness: Well-trained athletes perspire more than less fit people. Why? Athletes cool their bodies through sweat more efficiently than most people because their bodies are used to the extra stress. Thus, fluid needs are higher for highly trained athletes than for less fit individuals.

What are some signs of dehydration?
Early signs are: thirst, flushed skin, premature fatigue, increased body temperature, faster breathing and pulse rate, decreased exercise capacity.
Later signs include: Dizziness, increased weakness, labored breathing with exercise

The moral of this story is drink water before it’s too late! Listen to your body’s cues. Get to know your body as it’s pretty smart resource! I’m happy to report that Nolan has been taking in more water throughout the day (we set reminders) and his headaches have diminished. Obviously, for him, a headache is his body’s way of telling him and warning him that he’s pushing the limits. This summer, at CrossFit, do yourself a favor and get to know your body and its needs. Come prepared with water and even sports drinks to help replenish the sweat loss. Need more tips and tricks? Schedule a call or come see me with how to get more liquids in throughout the day. I’m happy to have a chat to help you out with your nutrition!