Nutrition before your grade

The importance of water

Introduction

Few of us realise how important drinking water is especially before an physical event like a grading. Once your thirsty it is too late your body is already quite dehydrated, because thirst is a very poor indicator of hydration levels. So now I will outline how important water is and what to do with relation to water in preparation for your grade.

Water

Exercise increase your bodyís temperature in direct proportion to the amount of exercise that your doing (the exercise load). Your body strives to maintain its normal resting temperature of about 37 degrees Celcius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by moving excess heat to the skin via your blood. But importantly your blood must also carry oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and remove any waste products,the more exercise you do (i.e. the more the grade goes on) the higher your bodies temperature gets the more blood that must be used for cooling. So the cooler you stay the better you perform.
But remember that your body will always sacrifice muscle function for temperature regulation why ??? Because even if all your muscles seize up you will still live, but if your bodies core body temperature rises a few degrees you will DIE!!!!

Before the Grade (Prehydration): Simply drink extra water for two days before, then between four hours and 1 hour before try and drink as much as possible every 15 minutes or so (say about 8oz glass a go). Drink nothing at all the half hour before you start unless you want lots of liquid sloshing about your tummy as you perform Mae geriís etc.

If you drink 12oz of plain water about 8oz of it will empty from your stomach within 15 minutes. Obviously peopleís bodies vary so that the amount of extra water retained varies with different people ,but some is retained.

However if you canít do as I have outlined the water loading on the day is by far and away the most important bit and generally you need every bit you can get !!

Also your body actually absorbs cold water more easily than water at room temperature and cold water can supply a cold supply in the gut which in turn will absorb excess body heat.

During the grade if you get a chance a couple of mouthfuls as often as you can.
If you think the grade is going to last longer than 1 hour then maybe consider drinking an Isotonic sports drink to sip during the grade as it may well benefit you! (although this fact is still disputed amongst different researchers).

After the grade you must get your body back to normal. So the most important thing is to rehydrate immediately. Sip water do not gulp it , avoid juices as they will inhibit the rehydration process due to their acidic nature and may promote cramp. Plain water is the best thing you can drink you just canít beat it.
Continue drinking extra water during the day and have a banana or apple handy to restore depleted glycogen levels.

Article written by John Fitzpatrick


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Last updated on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2001.