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Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat

Posted by Ashley Kelly on

Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat  from WODSuperStore.com

As the temperature rises this summer, being properly hydrated for your workouts is essential for safety and performance. The reality is that MOST people are chronically dehydrated and this can lead to a number of issues. However it is important to be aware that there are dangers associated with over-hydration as well. Regardless of whether you’re guzzling a gallon of water or barely drinking 12oz of water throughout the day, read up, because there is information here for you.

Dehydration 
Dehydration is defined as an excessive loss of body-water with an associated disruption of metabolic processes. Severe levels of dehydration can be life-threatening resulting in heat-stroke and possibly even death. While most of us will never reach these levels of dehydration, most of us will experience the performance decreases associated with minor levels of dehydration. Research has shown that even as little as a 2% loss of water can result in a 4% decrease in strength or aerobic performance performance. That means if your 1RM back squat at optimal hydration levels is 300#, then at 2% dehydration your 1RM would be 285# (yes I rounded, but either way it sucks!). Minor levels of dehydration also result in muscle-tissue stiffness leading to a decrease in mobility and an increased risk of muscle-strain injury.


Dehydration issues

  1. Increased risk of heat-stroke
  2. Decreased strength and endurance performance
  3. Increased muscle-tissue stiffness
  4. Decreased mobility
  5. Increased risk of strain injuries
Hyper-hydration (hyponatremia)
Hyponatremia is defined as an electrolyte disturbance where the sodium concentration in the blood is lower than normal. Hyponatremia can result in a range of metabolic and nervous system issues that often resemble dehydration.  Hyponatremia can occur during exercise when athletes are losing excessive amounts of salt and other electrolytes through sweat coupled with drinking excessive quantities of water. This is commonly seen in inexperienced endurance runners who are drink only water at aid stations essentially diluting their blood sodium concentration to below physiological levels.  Hyponatremia is easy to prevent by consuming an electrolyte solution occasionally during exercise.

Practical Applications
As an athlete I am constantly aware of the impact my hydration status can have on performance.  I can usually tell that I am dehydrated pretty early in my warm-up, I notice that I’m not sweating very easily and its taking me longer to get loosened up. At this point it is probably too late to get re-hydrated for that training session but my immediate response is to drink an electrolyte solution in an effort to prevent further dehydration.  The reality is that an ounce of prevention is worth 24oz of cure. In other words - deal with your hydration needs before your workout, because once you start its difficult to correct dehydration.
Dehydration - WOD SuperStore
Hydration Tips
  1. Drink at least ½ your body-weight in ounces daily (this is #1 most important!) Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day is a good way to achieve that many ounces.
  2. Utilize electrolyte solutions like NutriForce Balanced Hydration mixed with 12-24oz of water 30-60min before your workout to help prevent both dehydration and hyponatremia
  3. Creatine monohydrate MAY increase total-body water and prevent dehydration during exercise in the heat, however this is highly individual
  4. Research shows people drink more cold water during exercise versus room temperature, bring ice water to your workout to keep it cold
  5. If you are exercising for extended periods of time (90min+) consider adding an electrolyte solution to your water during exercise
  6. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink.  In order to quantify how much water you need to replace, weigh yourself before and after your workout and drink 16oz of water for each pound lost during exercise
  7. Avoid alcohol immediately post-workout as alcohol will contribute to dehydration, deal with your hydration needs first, then enjoy the post-WOD festivities
  8. Caffeine in your pre-workout drink is a diuretic, if you’re consuming a caffeine infused pre-workout make sure you’re increasing your water consumption

Kyle Ruth M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW-L1
WOD SuperStore Athlete
President: Accelerate Athletics Inc.
Owner: Crossfit LKN

    Read more

    Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat

    Posted by Ashley Kelly on

    Hydration for High-Intensity Exercise in the Heat  from WODSuperStore.com

    As the temperature rises this summer, being properly hydrated for your workouts is essential for safety and performance. The reality is that MOST people are chronically dehydrated and this can lead to a number of issues. However it is important to be aware that there are dangers associated with over-hydration as well. Regardless of whether you’re guzzling a gallon of water or barely drinking 12oz of water throughout the day, read up, because there is information here for you.

    Dehydration 
    Dehydration is defined as an excessive loss of body-water with an associated disruption of metabolic processes. Severe levels of dehydration can be life-threatening resulting in heat-stroke and possibly even death. While most of us will never reach these levels of dehydration, most of us will experience the performance decreases associated with minor levels of dehydration. Research has shown that even as little as a 2% loss of water can result in a 4% decrease in strength or aerobic performance performance. That means if your 1RM back squat at optimal hydration levels is 300#, then at 2% dehydration your 1RM would be 285# (yes I rounded, but either way it sucks!). Minor levels of dehydration also result in muscle-tissue stiffness leading to a decrease in mobility and an increased risk of muscle-strain injury.


    Dehydration issues

    1. Increased risk of heat-stroke
    2. Decreased strength and endurance performance
    3. Increased muscle-tissue stiffness
    4. Decreased mobility
    5. Increased risk of strain injuries
    Hyper-hydration (hyponatremia)
    Hyponatremia is defined as an electrolyte disturbance where the sodium concentration in the blood is lower than normal. Hyponatremia can result in a range of metabolic and nervous system issues that often resemble dehydration.  Hyponatremia can occur during exercise when athletes are losing excessive amounts of salt and other electrolytes through sweat coupled with drinking excessive quantities of water. This is commonly seen in inexperienced endurance runners who are drink only water at aid stations essentially diluting their blood sodium concentration to below physiological levels.  Hyponatremia is easy to prevent by consuming an electrolyte solution occasionally during exercise.

    Practical Applications
    As an athlete I am constantly aware of the impact my hydration status can have on performance.  I can usually tell that I am dehydrated pretty early in my warm-up, I notice that I’m not sweating very easily and its taking me longer to get loosened up. At this point it is probably too late to get re-hydrated for that training session but my immediate response is to drink an electrolyte solution in an effort to prevent further dehydration.  The reality is that an ounce of prevention is worth 24oz of cure. In other words - deal with your hydration needs before your workout, because once you start its difficult to correct dehydration.
    Dehydration - WOD SuperStore
    Hydration Tips
    1. Drink at least ½ your body-weight in ounces daily (this is #1 most important!) Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day is a good way to achieve that many ounces.
    2. Utilize electrolyte solutions like NutriForce Balanced Hydration mixed with 12-24oz of water 30-60min before your workout to help prevent both dehydration and hyponatremia
    3. Creatine monohydrate MAY increase total-body water and prevent dehydration during exercise in the heat, however this is highly individual
    4. Research shows people drink more cold water during exercise versus room temperature, bring ice water to your workout to keep it cold
    5. If you are exercising for extended periods of time (90min+) consider adding an electrolyte solution to your water during exercise
    6. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink.  In order to quantify how much water you need to replace, weigh yourself before and after your workout and drink 16oz of water for each pound lost during exercise
    7. Avoid alcohol immediately post-workout as alcohol will contribute to dehydration, deal with your hydration needs first, then enjoy the post-WOD festivities
    8. Caffeine in your pre-workout drink is a diuretic, if you’re consuming a caffeine infused pre-workout make sure you’re increasing your water consumption

    Kyle Ruth M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW-L1
    WOD SuperStore Athlete
    President: Accelerate Athletics Inc.
    Owner: Crossfit LKN

      Read more


      5 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Open

      Posted by Kyle Ruth on

      5 Tips to help you prepare for the Open - Kyle Ruth
      1. Plan to Repeat the Workouts
        In my experience, most people’s first attempt at a test like an Open workout is fraught with mistakes. For the most part, we go into them not really knowing what to expect and end up with terrible pacing strategies. Repeating the workouts gives us a chance to learn from our mistakes and improve our pacing strategy. I’ve found that athletes can commonly improve by 3-5% on their second attempt just by knowing what to expect and how to pace correctly for the workout. You might be thinking 5% isn’t a very big margin of improvement but on workout 12.1 if you scored 120 in the 7 minutes of burpees then repeated the workout and scored 126 (5% improvement) you would have moved from 1995th place in the world to 793rd place in the world.
      2. Film your Workouts
        Even though there are new rules this year requiring anyone who plans to qualify for Regionals to film their workouts...I believe EVERYONE should film their workout. Reviewing video footage of yourself dramatically improves learning and will let you objectively determine your weak points (and eliminate them if you repeat the workout like I suggest in #1). Motor learning research consistently shows that people who watch themselves perform a movement make faster progress than those who don't. Use tools like your smartphone to get ahead of the curve. Check out the Perchmount Fit - it's the perfect tool to help you film your WOD!
      3. Stop Leaderboarding
        Everyone has different goals coming into the Open, some people are sign-up to enjoy the experience and camaraderie, others are trying to qualify for Regionals. If your goal is to maximize your placing, then you need to spend more time focusing on your performance and not getting caught up in the fanfare. Spending hours browsing through the leader board isn’t going to make you any closer to qualifying! Nothing is more distracting than watching your name drop down the leader board each hour, it can become addictive. I KNOW as well as anyone. Spend time finding YOUR weak links (by following my advice in #1 and #2!) and then attack them!
      4. Take Care of your Hands
        Rips take FOREVER to heal completely (mine from WODapalooza 4 weeks ago are FINALLY healed!). The best strategy is to prevent them in the first place (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure right?). My suggestion is to get a pair of gloves or gymnastics grips, and practice with them in the weeks and days leading into the Open. There is no reason to try to show how “tough” you are during the Open...let your performance do the talking without the headache of ripped hands. Basic callous maintenance goes a really long way when you're potentially doing 10 tests over 5 weeks. 
        Check out our Hand Rips collection to get everything you need to protect, manage and repair! 
      5. Be Confident in your Preparation...by Being Prepared
        There will be muscle-ups, there will be double-unders, the pull-ups will be chest-to-bar...you need to be prepared for these movements because they WILL show up. If you haven’t mastered these movements you need start spending time on them right now! For skill based movements like double-unders this might mean simply practicing before and after your workouts. Movements like chest-to-bar pull-ups and muscle-ups have both skill and strength components, your program needs to be developing both.
      Aside from that...good luck and leave everything out there. 

      Kyle Ruth, M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW
      WOD SuperStore Athlete
      Owner: CrossFit LKN

      Read more

      5 Tips to Help You Prepare for the Open

      Posted by Kyle Ruth on

      5 Tips to help you prepare for the Open - Kyle Ruth
      1. Plan to Repeat the Workouts
        In my experience, most people’s first attempt at a test like an Open workout is fraught with mistakes. For the most part, we go into them not really knowing what to expect and end up with terrible pacing strategies. Repeating the workouts gives us a chance to learn from our mistakes and improve our pacing strategy. I’ve found that athletes can commonly improve by 3-5% on their second attempt just by knowing what to expect and how to pace correctly for the workout. You might be thinking 5% isn’t a very big margin of improvement but on workout 12.1 if you scored 120 in the 7 minutes of burpees then repeated the workout and scored 126 (5% improvement) you would have moved from 1995th place in the world to 793rd place in the world.
      2. Film your Workouts
        Even though there are new rules this year requiring anyone who plans to qualify for Regionals to film their workouts...I believe EVERYONE should film their workout. Reviewing video footage of yourself dramatically improves learning and will let you objectively determine your weak points (and eliminate them if you repeat the workout like I suggest in #1). Motor learning research consistently shows that people who watch themselves perform a movement make faster progress than those who don't. Use tools like your smartphone to get ahead of the curve. Check out the Perchmount Fit - it's the perfect tool to help you film your WOD!
      3. Stop Leaderboarding
        Everyone has different goals coming into the Open, some people are sign-up to enjoy the experience and camaraderie, others are trying to qualify for Regionals. If your goal is to maximize your placing, then you need to spend more time focusing on your performance and not getting caught up in the fanfare. Spending hours browsing through the leader board isn’t going to make you any closer to qualifying! Nothing is more distracting than watching your name drop down the leader board each hour, it can become addictive. I KNOW as well as anyone. Spend time finding YOUR weak links (by following my advice in #1 and #2!) and then attack them!
      4. Take Care of your Hands
        Rips take FOREVER to heal completely (mine from WODapalooza 4 weeks ago are FINALLY healed!). The best strategy is to prevent them in the first place (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure right?). My suggestion is to get a pair of gloves or gymnastics grips, and practice with them in the weeks and days leading into the Open. There is no reason to try to show how “tough” you are during the Open...let your performance do the talking without the headache of ripped hands. Basic callous maintenance goes a really long way when you're potentially doing 10 tests over 5 weeks. 
        Check out our Hand Rips collection to get everything you need to protect, manage and repair! 
      5. Be Confident in your Preparation...by Being Prepared
        There will be muscle-ups, there will be double-unders, the pull-ups will be chest-to-bar...you need to be prepared for these movements because they WILL show up. If you haven’t mastered these movements you need start spending time on them right now! For skill based movements like double-unders this might mean simply practicing before and after your workouts. Movements like chest-to-bar pull-ups and muscle-ups have both skill and strength components, your program needs to be developing both.
      Aside from that...good luck and leave everything out there. 

      Kyle Ruth, M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW
      WOD SuperStore Athlete
      Owner: CrossFit LKN

      Read more


      Why I CHOOSE NutriForce Sports - Kyle Ruth, WOD SS Athlete

      Posted by Billy Doherty on

      Kyle Ruth, WOD SuperStore AthleteIn a sport like CrossFit®, we are constantly looking to take our performance, training and recovery to the next level. Most of us turn to sports supplements to help maximize our workouts. Having studied exercise physiology and applied sport science in graduate school puts me in a really unique position to not only understand how the body reacts to exercise but also how things like nutrition and supplementation can affect exercise performance. 

      Whenever I am presented with a new supplement the first thing I do is research the primary ingredients. There is no way I'm going to waste my money on products that just don't work. That's why when I was given a sample of NutriForce PreWOD at the Beast of the East competition this past summer I did a double take. You see, most pre-workout products are a combination of under-dosed nitric-oxide boosters (that will never help CrossFit athletes when used pre-workout), the latest and greatest form of creatine, and some stimulants with questionable safety records. NutriForce PreWOD was the complete opposite of this: full-clinically tested servings of the tried and true performance boosters CREATINE MONOHYDRATE and BETA-ALANINE. In addition PreWOD contains functional dosages of Taurine and Tyrosine...two amino acids which have recently been shown to increase time to fatigue in athletes. 

      You can understand my surprise at this, given that for the past 6-7 years I've been recommending to all of my clients and fellow athletes to steer clear of pre-workout supplements for the aforementioned reasons. After Beast of the East, I decided to research the rest of their product line...and I found that every single one of their products has the same level of thought put into their development as the NutriForce PreWOD. In the end, there are three main reasons that I choose to incorporate NutriForce products into my training regiment. 

      1. Product safety and quality control standards. 
        Many people may not know this, but CrossFit has implemented a stringent drug testing program for high-performing athletes. This means it is more important than ever for athletes to KNOW exactly what they are putting into their bodies. NutriForce as a brand is unique in that they are manufactured 100% in-house (versus contract manufactured overseas like most other supplement brands) AND more importantly, the NutriForce manufacturing facility is cGMP...the major quality control standard for the supplement industry. This means that as athletes we can be 100% confident that what's on the label is in the bottle. 
      2. Ingredient Profile 
        I've already given you an idea of the amount of background work that has gone into the design of the NutriForce PreWOD product but it doesn't stop there. They have put together a complete athlete nutrition solution called WODPak which contains everything you SHOULD be taking for optimal performance and health. This includes their unique high EPA fish-oil, essential levels of Vitamin D, a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral designed specifically for a high-performance athlete's needs, and a powerful anti-oxidant blend of berries and super-foods. Getting the essentials for peak performance and health literally couldn't be easier than opening a WODPak every day. 
      3. Convenience 
        Before finding the NutriForce products I had 10 different supplements that I had to mix up each day in order to ensure I was getting exactly what I needed. Between creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, vitamin-D, fish-oil, protein powder, zinc, magnesium...the list goes on...I felt like I was constantly consuming some sort of capsule or powder. NutriForce has found a way to combine everything I need for peak performance into convenient, easy to take products. 

      If you haven't had the opportunity to try their products, WOD SuperStore carries all of them! 

      Kyle Ruth, M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW
      WOD SuperStore Athlete

      Read more

      Why I CHOOSE NutriForce Sports - Kyle Ruth, WOD SS Athlete

      Posted by Billy Doherty on

      Kyle Ruth, WOD SuperStore AthleteIn a sport like CrossFit®, we are constantly looking to take our performance, training and recovery to the next level. Most of us turn to sports supplements to help maximize our workouts. Having studied exercise physiology and applied sport science in graduate school puts me in a really unique position to not only understand how the body reacts to exercise but also how things like nutrition and supplementation can affect exercise performance. 

      Whenever I am presented with a new supplement the first thing I do is research the primary ingredients. There is no way I'm going to waste my money on products that just don't work. That's why when I was given a sample of NutriForce PreWOD at the Beast of the East competition this past summer I did a double take. You see, most pre-workout products are a combination of under-dosed nitric-oxide boosters (that will never help CrossFit athletes when used pre-workout), the latest and greatest form of creatine, and some stimulants with questionable safety records. NutriForce PreWOD was the complete opposite of this: full-clinically tested servings of the tried and true performance boosters CREATINE MONOHYDRATE and BETA-ALANINE. In addition PreWOD contains functional dosages of Taurine and Tyrosine...two amino acids which have recently been shown to increase time to fatigue in athletes. 

      You can understand my surprise at this, given that for the past 6-7 years I've been recommending to all of my clients and fellow athletes to steer clear of pre-workout supplements for the aforementioned reasons. After Beast of the East, I decided to research the rest of their product line...and I found that every single one of their products has the same level of thought put into their development as the NutriForce PreWOD. In the end, there are three main reasons that I choose to incorporate NutriForce products into my training regiment. 

      1. Product safety and quality control standards. 
        Many people may not know this, but CrossFit has implemented a stringent drug testing program for high-performing athletes. This means it is more important than ever for athletes to KNOW exactly what they are putting into their bodies. NutriForce as a brand is unique in that they are manufactured 100% in-house (versus contract manufactured overseas like most other supplement brands) AND more importantly, the NutriForce manufacturing facility is cGMP...the major quality control standard for the supplement industry. This means that as athletes we can be 100% confident that what's on the label is in the bottle. 
      2. Ingredient Profile 
        I've already given you an idea of the amount of background work that has gone into the design of the NutriForce PreWOD product but it doesn't stop there. They have put together a complete athlete nutrition solution called WODPak which contains everything you SHOULD be taking for optimal performance and health. This includes their unique high EPA fish-oil, essential levels of Vitamin D, a multi-vitamin and multi-mineral designed specifically for a high-performance athlete's needs, and a powerful anti-oxidant blend of berries and super-foods. Getting the essentials for peak performance and health literally couldn't be easier than opening a WODPak every day. 
      3. Convenience 
        Before finding the NutriForce products I had 10 different supplements that I had to mix up each day in order to ensure I was getting exactly what I needed. Between creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, vitamin-D, fish-oil, protein powder, zinc, magnesium...the list goes on...I felt like I was constantly consuming some sort of capsule or powder. NutriForce has found a way to combine everything I need for peak performance into convenient, easy to take products. 

      If you haven't had the opportunity to try their products, WOD SuperStore carries all of them! 

      Kyle Ruth, M.S., CSCS, CFL-1, USAW
      WOD SuperStore Athlete

      Read more