Hydration and recovery
If you’re an active person, you’ve probably experienced an imbalance between water intake and water loss at one time or another during an extended period of exercise. It’s not pleasant and greatly impacts your performance whether you’re out for long mountain bike ride or playing a hard-fought tennis match. Exercise capacity can be compromised when a person is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. That’s not much.
We often focus on food sources of fuel, but fatigue during exercise may be the result of dehydration as much as from lack of nutrient intake. It takes much longer to recover from a hydration deficit than it does from a food (energy) deficit. You can eat a banana or a handful of jelly beans and feel better in minutes, but if fluid intake is compromised, it takes a lot longer to recover. If you’re feeling like a saguaro cactus—hot, parched, and moisture-deprived—it will take hours for fluids to trickle back into your blood plasma, muscles, and intracellular fluids. It’s best to make sure you’re well-hydrated to begin with and take measures to stay hydrated while active.
Sip, sip, sip.
And guess what? Food counts as hydration. At least some food does. Processed food contains no water. Raw vegetables and fruit contain quite a bit and come with a supporting cast of nutrients, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium—critical electrolytes lost through sweating.
Power-packed, pre- or post-exercise smoothie (a great combo of ingredients for hydration, performance, and recovery)
Makes one mega serving, or two if you’re forced to share
1-1/2 cups coconut water
1 small banana
1/3 cup frozen cherries
1/3 cup chopped cucumber
1/3 cup chopped raw beets
1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground
Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender and pulse until smooth. Makes about 22 ounces (1-3/4 cups).
PER SERVING: 350 calories; 7 g fat; 70 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 13 g fiber
Nutrition Bonus: vitamin C; magnesium; phosphorus; sodium; potassium; thiamin; selenium; zinc
For a detailed post on the differences in high-powered blenders, check this post from my friend Alexa at Lexie’s Kitchen. She’s the blender guru. I have a VitaMix and I love it, but there are several other blenders on the market that will also pulverize chopped beets and celery.
We know that eating close to bedtime is not good for our bodies or the waistline.
The closer we eat to bedtime, the more likely we are to store those calories or eat in excess.
It can be a tough challenge to overcome, but follow these doable steps to a new you.
5 Steps to Eat Less at Night
- Eat enough earlier in the day. Don’t let your body clock get confused and shift to eating too much later in the evening. Focus on eating more at lunch and breakfast. Making lunch your “biggest” meal can help some. This helps to make sure that in the evening you are not feeling excess hunger, and can prevent overeating.
- Eat a balanced dinner. Follow the rule of half a plate of vegetables, one quarter a protein source, and the other quarter a healthy carbohydrate source. By doing this, you will feel more satisfied.
- Allow yourself one post-dinner snack. The trick is to eat this snack or dessert right at the end of dinner. This acts as a signal to the brain that you are finished with your food intake. Move on with the night, and focus on other tasks or relaxation that does not involve food.
- Choose a new nighttime routine. If you would normally grab a snack at a certain hour, replace it with a new habit or behavior that does not involve food. Start a new hobby, craft, or relaxation technique. Try doing things with your hands like knitting, journaling, or a puzzle. Anything goes!
- Brush your teeth. As simple as it sounds, this can be one of the best techniques. When you are finished with dinner, brush your teeth about an hour after to prevent you from snacking on more food. Who wants to brush their teeth again?
Do you have any tricks you use to stop excess snacking?
If so, please share them below
Coastal Integrative Health
Brian S. Lank