Boxers are extreme athletes, and water is their lifeline. The importance of water hydration is exasperated in athletes. The right amount of water is needed before and after exercise to properly regulate body temperature, lubricate the joints and help with the transportation of nutrients in the body that provide you with vital energy.
Improper hydration can lead to:
- Muscle cramps
And these are just a few of the symptoms that are experienced with dehydration. When you lose more liquid then you drink, you will eventually become dehydrated. Dehydration can go from mild to severe rather quickly, and boxers exert so much energy that they are at a very high risk of dehydration when training and fighting.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Anyone that is dehydrated – especially boxers – will suffer from the following symptoms:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
- Fast and erratic heartbeat
- Lightheaded feeling
These are just a few of the mild symptoms that will be experienced. If hydration is not corrected quickly, this can lead to severe dehydration symptoms, which include:
- Loss of consciousness in severe instances
- Mental confusion
- Muscle weakness
Allowing dehydration to get to this severity level will require emergency medical care. A boxer that cannot take a moment off of training needs to be drinking the appropriate amount of water to stay hydrated.
Sports drinks may be utilized to provide a little extra calories and nutrients to the boxer, but it is important to ensure that this drink does not contain high amounts of sugar, as this can lead to further dehydration.
You can take it one step further and ensure that the water you are consuming is good quality to improve absorption. You can do this by drinking bottled mineral water, however this can be expensive. Another option is to filter the water you drink and can even use a whole house water filter system. If you are interested in a getting a system installed, we would recommend checking out SofterH2O.com to see all their water softener systems.
Boxer Water Consumption During Training
The intensity of the training will require more water to be drank. A typical guideline of how much water to drink during training of any kind is as follows:
- Drink 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours prior to exercise
- Drink 20 ounces of water 20 minutes before training
- Drink 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes while training
- Drink an additional 8 ounces of water immediately following training
Boxers should weigh themselves prior to training, and weigh themselves after training to understand how much fluid has been lost during training. A rough estimate of fluid to weight is 16 to 24 ounces of water per body pound lost.
If a boxer loses 2 pounds of water after training, it’s essential that the boxer drinks at least 48 ounces of water before during and after training to compensate for the amount of fluid lost during training.
Adjusting how much water is consumed is essential for boxers.
Heat illness is a major concern, especially during the summer months when boxers are training under intense heat levels. What causes heat illness is dehydration tied with a lack of the body being able to effectively cool itself off.
Sweating, comprised of the fluid in your body, is meant to cool the body down during exercise or rigorous activity. Since so much water is expelled during training, dehydration can cause the body to not be able to cool itself properly.
This will result in:
- Heat cramps
- Heat exhaustion
Body temperatures can rise as high as 104°F when heat illness kicks in, so it's important to take measures to avoid overheating.
The bottom line is this: when it comes to training and fighting, nothing is more important than staying hydrated.