The Importance of Water

Staying properly hydrated is the simplest, easiest, and cheapest part of maintaining good health during training, and yet it is one of the most commonly neglected. Many people are not drinking anywhere near as much water before, after, and during training as they should be and as a result their performance suffers. In order for our bodies to operate and recover properly it is absolutely critical that we are fully hydrated. Among many other important functions, water acts as a lubricant for our joints, regulates our body temperatures, balances electrolyte concentrations, and plays a key role in stamina and endurance. If our bodies are not properly hydrated we are also putting ourselves at significantly higher risk of injury.

So how much water should we be drinking?

As a very general guideline we should all be drinking at least 8 glasses (1 glass = 8 ounces) of water a day. However, those who are training intensely may need significantly more than that in order to replenish water lost in training. It is very important that we take into account factors such as sweat rate, heat, training intensity and duration. Also remember that just because you aren’t thirsty does not mean you are properly hydrated. To get a better idea of how much water you should be drinking while training check out these guidelines for water intake provided by the American Council on Fitness:

Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising
Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up
Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise
Drink 8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise
Drink 16 to 24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight you lost after you exercised.

Bear in mind that these are just meant to act as a general guideline, and that each individual may need to adjust the recommended water intake to their bodies and training routines. One of the easiest ways to determine if you are hydrated is to monitor the color of your urine. As a rule of thumb, if the urine is clear or light yellow you are properly hydrated, if the urine is a darker yellow or cloudy you are dehydrated.

In summary, the most important take away here is that we could all probably be drinking more water than we currently do, especially those putting in intense training sessions in a martial art like BJJ or Muay Thai. By keeping ourselves fully hydrated with lots of water we will perform better, feel better, and avoid injuries.

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia's premier brand of MMA academies. With World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, and No Gi Grappling, Evolve MMA is the top martial arts training organization in Asia. It ranks among the best martial arts academies in the world.