Why water is so important to your training.

Water is essential to your training, always ensure your drinking enough.

It is a common opinion that to be a tough guy you must not drink water while training. I’ve heard it many times, martial arts discipline means not taking water breaks.

The issue we have here is on your ability to perform. The issue for us as trainers is we simply do not always know peoples lifestyle choices. We don’t know if you e had anything to drink at all before training or after. Perhaps you’ve only had a soft drink all day at work and cycled to training for 30 minutes and gone straight on the mats.

Personally I always offer water breaks and recommend training while hydrated as well as possible.

Recommendation from our friends at Mask Health & Fitness is to drink 0.033 x your body weight in kgs. So for the average 80kg person recommendation is to have 2.64 litres of water per day. A minimum of 2 litres, and this is not including if you are training.

Are you drinking enough?

I’ve asked our friends at Mask Health and Fitness to give us their professional opinion and thoughts on the dangers and risks of training without water. See below.


During intense exercise it’s recommended that you consume approximately 200-300ml of water for every 10-20 minutes you train.

If you look at elite level marathon runners, they constantly top up with water during their 2 hour race.

We do this to avoid dehydration which drastically reduces athletic performance from 2% dehydration onwards. At around 5% dehydration cramping can begin and loss of concentration, muscular contractile ability and loss of coordination follows. Now, imagine losing coordination whilst sparring…quite simply you will get hit more. This is then more dangerous as dehydration reduces the amount of fluid around the brain which is there partly for protection.

It’s not tough to go through sessions without drinking…it’s actually foolish, dangerous and detrimental to performance gains. This is one of my Martial Arts bug bears…old school thinking which works completely opposite to how the human body was designed. Keeping hydration levels topped up will ensure that you get the absolute best out of your training and recovery whilst staying safe.

To gauge your individual typical fluid loss from training, weigh yourself before training, then again after training. 1kg weight lost equates to 1 litre of water lost. For every kg lighter you weigh after training aim to drink 1.5litres of water due to the fact that you won’t absorb the full 1 litre as some water is lost in urination.

Furthermore, make sure you are adequately hydrated before you go training. Easiest way to check is to look at the colour of your urine. If a pale straw yellow, then you are optimally hydrated. The darker the urine gets, the less hydrated you are. Chronic long term dehydration places unnecessary strain upon the kidneys and the bodies thermoregulatory system within the brain.

Train hard – train smart! Sips of water every 5/10 minutes is the best way to go. Even more important for children.

Stay safe 👍

Marc Golland 5th Dan Blackbelt.
BSc (Hons) Sports Sciences
MSc Exercise Science
Level 5 nutrition

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