The best gymnasts in the world must get the most out of their bodies to pull off the incredible stunts required at competitions. When young gymnasts ask how they can improve, one underappreciated piece of advice we like to give is to make sure you are hydrated before you perform. But why is hydration so important? Today, the Gold Medal Gyms team explains the details about the importance of hydration.
Hydration Is Important for All Athletes
Did you know that dehydration can negatively affect your physical performance before you even feel thirsty? Your body is like a machine, and in order for that machine to work at peak capacity, you have to drink enough water.
Athletes have hydration requirements that exceed those of non-athletes. Your athletic performance begins to be impaired at a water loss of 1% or your body mass, even though you only start to feel thirsty at a water loss of around 2%.
Gymnasts who are dehydrated will feel their energy levels drop and may have trouble concentrating. Since concentration and focus are so crucial to both performance and safety in our sport, ensuring you are properly hydrated is of utmost importance.
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How to Stay Hydrated
According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), young athletes should drink 17-20 ounces of water within a two-hour window before practice or competition. Once physical activity has begun, the athlete should drink between 4-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes.
During the 30 minutes after your workout, you should consume at least 24 ounces of water to give your body the ability to recover and cool down properly.
Try to get in the habit of consistent hydration. As mentioned above, dehydration can impact your performance before you actually feel thirsty. By creating a habit of drinking water during your gymnastics work, you can avoid the potential negative impacts of dehydration altogether.
Eat Water-Rich Foods
You have lots of options other than water for staying hydrated. Eating water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables can keep you hydrated while providing key nutrients your body needs.
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Become the Best Gymnast You Can Be With Gold Medal Gyms
At Gold Medal Gyms, our team is dedicated to helping our young athletes reach their full potential — in gymnastics and in life. Unsure if your child will enjoy a gymnastics class? Sign up for a free trial class to allow them to get a feel for our environment. If you have any questions regarding our classes, contact our team at 417-732-4100.