Tips for Hydration

Hi everybody!  Today’s blog post is all about staying hydrated, why it’s important, and my tips for doing so.  I strongly believe that hydration helps contribute to success in your dancing, and I’ve seen improvement myself!  So, let’s get right into it:

The Importance

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, I never go through an informational blog post without explaining to you the importance and benefits of the topic being discussed.  So, let’s start with the basics.

Hydration, in other words, means drinking an adequate amount of water and maintaining that water in your system throughout the day.  This doesn’t mean chugging 6 glasses at 6:00 am, it means both the amount of water you drink in itself and the times that you drink that water.

Hydration has many benefits.  First, it helps your muscles and joints work better.  It helps lubricate them and prevents tightness.  That, in turn, benefits your flexibility and allows your muscles to strengthen better.

Second, it helps with cardiovascular health.  In other words, it keeps your heart healthy.  That is not only good for your dancing, but also life in general.  It helps with your cardio, promoting more stamina during jumping combinations and being able to do a full length Swan Lake without collapsing on the floor!

How much should I drink?

I believe that dancers should drink at least 8 glasses a day for ages 15 and under and 9 glasses a day for age 16 and over.  This properly supports your muscles without over-hydrating, which can cause problems down the line.

Another thing to take into account is the amount of exercise and cardiovascular activity that you will be doing that day.  If you just have one class and do 15 minutes of jumps, you aren’t going to drink an entirely new glass of water to make up for the hydration you lost from that.  But, if you run a puffy ballet over and over again and you’re sweating your tail off, I would recommend throwing in another glass.

Along with this topic comes the discussion of how spaced out this water should be.  I like to divide up my day into 4 different sections and drink a waterbottle that contains 2 glasses in it during each of these sections of the day.  My first section is before school, the second is during school, the third is at ballet, and the fourth is during the evening.

If you don’t properly divide up your water, I believe that your body doesn’t really “use” it all – it just kind of takes it in without really absorbing it.  At least, that’s how I feel.  Also, it’s a good way to keep that glass of water after ballet class in when you really need it without over-hydrating.

Staying consistent

So, what you really wanted to hear out of this blog post was my tips for staying hydrated with a busy schedule.  Here are a few pieces of advice I have for you:

Space it out:  I mentioned this earlier, but I like to divide up my day into four sections and drink a waterbottle that contains 2 glasses in it during each.

Track it:  Rather than thinking about how many glasses I drank that day at night and not writing it down (which does NOT work…), I have switched to a system that involves me checking off boxes for each glass of water that I drink in the day.  It’s pretty much always the same because of my water schedule, but it’s still good for me to write it down in order ot maintain that consistency.  On my April Challenge, which was just announced last Friday, there is a space to write down how many glasses of water you drank that day under the Nutrition column.

Fill up the bottle:  Another effective way to keep your water intake consistent is to make a solid schedule for filling up your waterbottle.  I like to make sure and fill up my glass before school, before I brush my teeth for the day.  Putting it before or after a daily activity that you’d do anyways really helps you stay on track and not miss filling up your waterbottle, which can totally destroy your intake for the day if you won’t have a chance to fill it up later.

Thanks for reading!  See you on Friday.

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