In 2010, a report from The European Food Safety Authority suggested that the minimum levels of water consumption should be 2 litres for men and 1.6 litres for women. This is equivalent to the measures in the table below.
|Men||2litres||Over three and a half pints||Four 1/2 litre bottles of water|
|Women||1.6litres||Just under three pints||Just over three 1/2 litre bottles of water|
To me, that is a lot and this is without spending an hour or two on the mats. BJJ is physically demanding and from the pools of sweat on the mats at the end of class, it’s obvious that you are losing a lot of fluid through sweat.
For me, there is a major leap from sitting in an office all day at work and then hitting the mats in the evening. I don’t drink nearly enough water through the day and then I try to compensate for this before class. Luckily Google has pointed me to some great posts about sports drinks and sports hydration.
Armed with some basic information about isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic drinks, I started to experiment. With varying success, I’ve now landed on a simple homemade drink that works for me. About an hour before class I take a glass tumbler, put a pinch of salt and some squash (a non-alcoholic fruit drink concentrate) then fill it with water and stir to dissolve the salt. I can usually down this much in one. It doesn’t taste great but it’s not completely undrinkable and taking on too much water can leave me bloated and feeling like I’m going to throw up.
Since starting to experiment I have felt mentally aware of my position, I felt like I had energy in reserve but most of all I’ve really enjoyed rolling. Even if it was 5 mins being completely destroyed by a higher belt I can still smile, tighten my belt and go again.
So my homemade sports drink is not for everyday consumption. I train BJJ three times a week so before each class, if I remember, I down this simple concoction. I might even start taking the drink with me to sip during class but for now, it’s working well. Give it a try yourself and let me know what your think.