Serious CrossFit athletes will tell you that recovering from a CrossFit workout is as crucial as the effort they have put into the workout. That said, hydration, one of the fundamental ways to boost post-workout recoveries has often been overlooked. Many people understand and appreciate the role played by hydration during exercise, but have a vague idea of its power in post-workout recovery. This affects optimal performance.
Water, in general, plays a key role in the recovery process from the repair of damaged muscles during CrossFit exercise all the way to help in the digestion of vital nutrients. Scientific studies have revealed that muscles are 75% water. Below are some of the top ways water can help in your recovery and improvement of your next workout.
Exercises cause muscles to strengthen by first breaking them down and after that rebuilding them through the process of protein synthesis. However, for this to happen, your muscles must be well hydrated. If following a workout, you are dehydrated, the protein synthesis process will be drastically slowed down, and this will further delay your post-workout recovery.
Following an intense workout, it is important to refuel to replenish the depleted glycogen stores and boost recovery. However, for proper digestion to take place, you need adequate water. Saliva which is the major constituent of food breakdown in the mouth is composed of primary water and plays an important role in enhancing the absorption of the nutrients broken down. Therefore, rehydrating well after a CrossFit gym session ensures efficiency of the digestive process and recovery.
Reduction in Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most visible signs of dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, the blood volume reduces and this makes the heart to work extra hard to pump blood to all parts of the body which require nutrients and oxygen. By its very nature, fatigue hinders post-workout recovery and reduces motivation for the next workout.
A study done in 2012 brought out the role of hydration in athletic performance. It found out that hydration impacted heavily on recovery. The athletes under examination did a 90-minute run on a treadmill and subjected to two different conditions; one where the athletes took a sports drink during the CrossFit exercise and after and the second condition where they did not hydrate at all. According to the experiment, individuals who hydrated adequately showed a very significant heart rate recovery after the workout which meant their bodies quickly picked up after the stress of exercise.
Rehydration following a workout has a huge impact on recovery especially in the buildup to hot summer weather. Therefore, it is important that you develop a hydration protocol after your CrossFit exercise to replenish the fluids, electrolytes, and sodium lost in the course of the workout.