Dehydration, which occurs when the body has insufficient water and other fluids to function properly, can lead to blood clots, seizures, and other potentially fatal complications. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on mood and energy. That’s why it’s so important to catch dehydration early on, but the signs aren’t always obvious ones like thirst and fatigue.

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Here are six surprising indicators that you might be dehydrated.

1. Bad breath. Saliva has antibacterial properties in it, but dehydration can prevent your body from making enough saliva.

If you’re not producing enough saliva in the mouth, you can get bacteria overgrowth and one of the side reactions of that is bad breath from chronic dehydration.

2. Dry skin. A lot of people think that people who get dehydrated are really sweaty; but as you go through various stages of dehydration, you become very dizzy and you don’t have enough blood volume so you get very dry skin. Because the skin is dry and not evaporating as well, you can also experience flushing of the skin.

Think you can’t get dehydrated in cooler seasons or climates? Think again. Symptoms may be milder or come on slower, but it’s still possible to be dehydrated in cooler weather.

3. Muscle cramps. The hotter you get, the more likely you are to get muscle cramps, and that’s from a pure heat effect on the muscles. As the muscles work harder and harder, they can seize up from the heat itself. Changes in the electrolytes, changes in the sodium and potassium can lead to muscle cramping as well.

4. Fever and chills. It might sound counterintuitive, but if your body is severely dehydrated you may experience fever like symptoms or even chills.

5. Food cravings, especially for sweets. When you’re dehydrated, it can be difficult for some nutrients and organs like the liver which use water to release some glycogens and other components of your energy stores, so you can actually get cravings for food. While you can crave anything from chocolate to a salty snack, cravings for sweets are more common because your body may be experiencing difficulty with glycogen production.

If craving something sweet, reach for a snack that has high water content. Most fruits and vegetables have high water content and will help you stay hydrated. In fact, some fruits and vegetables are more than 90% water; including cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, celery, lettuce and leafy greens, zucchini, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

6. Headaches. The brain sits inside a fluid sack that keeps it from bumping against the skull.  If that fluid sack is depleted or running low because of dehydration, the brain can push up against parts of the skull, causing headaches.

Some drinks that can cause dehydration include alcohol, energy drinks, and even caffeine as it has a slight diuretic effect.

How to Check If You’re Dehydrated

Not sure if that sweet craving or muscle cramp is a sign you need to hydrate? Here are two other ways to check if your body is dehydrated.

  • Try this skin test. First, use two fingers to grab a roll of skin on the back of your hand (between where your watch sits and where your fingers start). Pull the skin up about ½ to one centimeter high and then let the skin go. The skin should spring back to its normal position in less than a couple of seconds. If the skin bounces back slowly, you might be dehydrated.
  • Check your urine. If you’re well-hydrated your urine will be mostly clear with a tinge of yellow. Yellow, chardonnay, and orange are the “warning” colors to watch for. When your body is about three percent dehydrated your urine will be noticeably yellow. When your body is about five percent dehydrated, your urine will appear chardonnay-colored. When your body is more than five percent dehydrated – which is considered severely dehydrated – your urine will appear orange.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • Keep your water bottle handy. If it’s right next to you, you’ll likely get into the habit of sipping it without even realizing it.
  • Spice up plain water. If you don’t love plain water, jazz it up by adding a splash of fruit juice or chunks of fresh or frozen fruit.
  • Try different teas. Unsweetened flavored teas, are available in lots of different flavors. Sip fruity iced teas during and hot peppermint or chamomile tea at night — they all count towards your daily fluid goal.
  • Makeover your snacks. Swap dry, carby snacks like chips, pretzels, and crackers, which have a very low water content, with refreshing  fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt, healthy smoothies, celery with peanut butter, and cut veggies with hummus.
  • Pile on the produce. Aim to make half your plate produce at meals. Vegetable and fruit servings will supply water as well as a hearty dose of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Sip more during meals. Sipping water with meals will help you eat more slowly, pace your eating, and of course stay hydrated.
  • Opt for room temperature or cooler water. When it comes to fluids, steer clear of extreme temperatures. When ice water comes into the stomach it constricts the arteries surrounding the stomach, which help the stomach function properly and help with water absorption. Ice water will just sit in your stomach until it warms up. If you hear water swishing around in your stomach, it means the water is not getting absorbed. Fluids that are cooler or room temperature are better options.

When it comes to total water intake, which includes water gained from foods and other beverages like tea and milk, the Institute of Medicine recommends that most women get about 2.7 liters of water a day (or about 12 cups), and most men get about 3.7 liters a day (or about 15 cups).

 

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Ingredients:

2 medium-sized spaghetti squash
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 cup Natural marinara sauce
1lb prepared meatballs (lean beef or ground turkey)
1 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce the center of the spaghetti squash several times on all sides with a small, sharp knife then microwave for 3 minutes, flipping once. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a very sharp knife, then remove seeds with a spoon. Lay halves cut side up on a foil-lined, non-stick sprayed baking sheet then brush with oil and season liberally with salt & pepper. Roast for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the thickest part of the squash meets no resistance. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  2. While squash is roasting, prepare and bake meatballs.
  3. When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape flesh every which way with a fork to loosen and fluff strands. Top with 4 meatballs, ¼ cup sauce, and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese each, then broil until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

You have probably seen it at the gym, or have heard someone talk about “foam rolling”, but what benefits do foam rolling have for you.

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The foam roll is used for self-massage and can be used on almost all muscle groups but mainly used for the lower body muscles. Foam rolling is a self-massage technique used by many athletes following a work out.  It helps massage and stretch the muscles.  This type of massage can help loosen tight muscles or help release those hard to get to trigger points. The foam roll can be used on all muscles but is mostly used for quadriceps, glutes, IT band, hamstrings, and calves.  This type of massage can help aid muscles with recovery after a grueling weight lifting work out, a long run or just every day tightness.

Most often you hear of people foam rolling their IT, or Iliotibial band. The IT band is a thick band of fascia on the outside part of the knee, extending from the pelvis going over the hip down the side of the leg inserting just below the knee. If this muscle becomes very tight it becomes difficult to stretch on its own.  This is why an IT band is a common area of focus for foam rolling. If you have a tight IT band and choose to foam roll it, you may feel pain as you roll up and down your leg. The pain may even radiate into your hip as you roll over certain trigger points.

Similar to the pain you experience with stretching, think of the feeling as good pain. Why do something that is painful? Releasing this tightness in your muscles will help restore the muscles primary function by breaking up muscle knots and allowing blood flow to the area.Similar to the pain you experience with stretching, think of the feeling as good pain. Why do something that is painful? Releasing this tightness in your muscles will help restore the muscles primary function by breaking up muscle knots and allowing blood flow to the area.
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Most serious CrossFitters adhere to either the Paleo Diet, the Zone Diet, or some blend of the two. Christina and Jeff Barnett have compiled some information on the Zone Diet to make it easy for anyone to understand. While it is recommend first focusing on the quality of the food by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, balancing your portions and carb/protein/fat intake with the Zone is an incredibly valuable tool for both elite athletes seeking the best CrossFit diet and everyday people seeking weight loss. To take your nutrition to the next level you need the hormonal balance that the Zone Diet provides.  Read on to find out more, and when you’re done use this PDF file to find the block equivalent of most common foods.  It’s even color-coded! Figuring out your perfect 4 block zone dinner couldn’t be easier. crossfit diet

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Diet comes from the Greek language and means “way of life”. A diet is a lifestyle–not a set of draconian rules that you blindly follow. The Zone Diet controls gene expression and hormonal balance to give you the longer and better life to which we all aspire.

The zone diet is primarily concerned with controlling your hormones. Hormonal balance affects all important components of your wellness: body composition, energy utilization, blood chemistry, and much more.

The Zone Diet isn’t about eating “low-carb” or “high-protein” or anything like that. It’s a diet balanced in

• Protein (lean, natural meats are preferred)

• Carbs (mostly low glycemic-load fruits and vegetables)

• Fat (one of the most important macronutrients!)

With the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats, you can control three major hormones generated by the human diet – insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids.

Insulin – A storage hormone. Excess insulin makes you fat and keeps you fat.

Glucagon – A mobilization hormone that tells the body to release stored carbohydrates at a steady rate, leading to stabilized blood sugar levels. This is key for optimal mental and physical performance.

Eicosanoids – These are the hormones that ultimately control silent inflammation. They are also master hormones that indirectly orchestrate a vast array of other hormonal systems in your body.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 loaf French bread, cut into thin slices
  • 10 strawberries, diced into small pieces
  • 3 peaches, diced into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry white balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into small pieces
  • 1 log cranberry goat cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place French bread on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until fully toasted.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine strawberries, peaches, and balsamic. Spread Cranberry Goat cheese onto each slice of French bread.
  3. With a slotted spoon, place fruit mixture on each piece of French bread.
  4. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • Canadian bacon slices
  • Equal amount of eggs

Method:

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a muffin pan, place a piece of Canadian bacon into each hole. Press it down and crack an egg into each piece of bacon. Cook in oven for approximately:

  • Runny Yolk – 8 minutes
  • Semi-Soft Yolk – 10 minutes
  • Hard, Crumbly Egg – 14 minutes

Pop the egg “cups” out of the pan once they’re cool enough to handle.

Chocolate milk has been making headlines for some time now about it being the “athlete’s drink.” But do you really know why?

Before we dive into that too much, let’s review a little what happens when we exercise. In our bodies, protein is constantly being built and broken down. This is called protein turn-over. A side effect of an exercise bout is the breaking down of proteins. Exercise causes some tissue damage and requires a little repair. Not only do you need the protein, but your carbohydrate stores need to be replenished as well. This is why there is a recommendation to eat a carbohydrate/protein snack post-exercise. The term “recovery snack” makes more sense now, doesn’t it?

So what makes chocolate milk so special? Cow’s milk is considered to be a high-quality protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those that are body cannot produce and must be taken in through the diet. It also contains more carbohydrates (cho) per serving when compared to regular white milk.

In a study led by the University of Connecticut, they examined chocolate milk consumption with endurance athletes and how it affected protein balance, glycogen, and performance. Runners were asked to complete a 45 minutes exercise. After that, each runner was given either chocolate milk (cho+pro) or a sweetened beverage (cho only).

At the end of the study, they found that the runners who drank the chocolate milk had greater protein synthesis and less protein breakdown than those who drank the sweetened beverage. Both drinks were able to maintain glycogen (cho) storage.
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This study, along with others, show that it takes BOTH protein and carbohydrates to properly recover from exercise. Chocolate milk is a convenient (and tasty!) way to get the nutrients your body is craving. Remember- a recovery beverage should be consumed within 30 minutes of exercise to see the full effects.

CrossFit takes strength, power, and ability to work for long periods of time. As the sport evolves, it not only takes these qualities in order to cope with the overwhelming workload, but application of mental strategy is a must.
One of the many reasons that CrossFit is a proven sport of progression, is that it teaches you how to push yourself beyond the limit of your perceived limitations. The problem with pushing yourself only so far is that your body will stop changing. As your body and mind grow accustomed to a particular workload, they’ll stop making progress.
What CrossFit teaches, is the idea that the body can always do more. The average CrossFit WOD is deliberately designed to fatigue your body to the point where you don’t think you can go on. The lesson in the WODs is that when your body is totally exhausted, you must look for a different energy source. And guess what? Your body will do it!!
You must learn to rely on your mind to push you through the suffering. It is your mentality, that your true power lies. When you learn to depend on your mind, you will be amazed at the unlimited amount of strength and endurance that your body has. Whatever you convince your mind to believe, will become a reality. Once you discover that your mind can ‘will’ your exhausted body to perform longer and lift heavier, you will amaze yourself at how this can crossover into all aspects of your life. So the next time you want to quit, listen to that positive voice in your head and let it push you to keep going!

Yoga is for everyone, athletes included. Yoga works on strength, flexibility, balance, agility, endurance, core, and overall strength, among other things. Any athlete could benefit hugely by adding yoga to her or his training regimen. Here’s more details on a few of the perks:

Strength: No amount of weight-lifting with free weights will give you the strength that consistently holding up your own body weight will.

Flexibility: Practicing yoga increases flexibility and ease of movement, therefore increasing range of motion. In particular, athletes in sports that require swinging action (tennis, golf, etc.) can benefit greatly. Flexibility in general also helps to prevent injury.

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Balance: Balancing poses in yoga improve overall balance in everything you do, preventing falls and injury.  When you learn how to be soft and go with the flow, you can more easily bend and are less likely to break or fall over.

Endurance: The endurance that the ease of yoga gives you lends to endurance sports like running, triathlons, and Iron Mans. When you learn to tune into your body and mind, everything can be a meditation—sports included. Yoga also helps you learn how to pace yourself: slow and steady, in it for the long haul.

Core: Almost everything you do in yoga works on your core strength. Strong core equals a healthy back and a healthy body.

Stability: Yoga helps strengthen all of the little stabilizing muscles that people tend to miss in other physical workouts and are vital in protecting your joints and spine (among other things) .

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Recovery: Yoga also helps put athletes back together after injuries. Again: You’re tuning into your body and giving it the care it wants and needs. Yoga also elongates all of the muscles that athletes spend so long contracting, so it is a great counter-action.

Most importantly, yoga changes the way you think and approach everything in life: When you learn to move with ease and stop forcing things, you will prevent injuries and your body will open with your mind, increasing your flexibility all around.

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Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Large Zucchini (Sliced in ¼ inch slices)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Pizza toppings of your choice (pepperoni, olives, etc.)

Instructions:

  1. Toss sliced zucchini with olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
  2. Spread zucchini evenly on a aluminum foil covered pan and place under the broiler for 1-2 mins. Flip the zucchini and return under the broiler for another 1-2 mins.
  3. Remove the zucchini and top with ½-1 tsp of pizza sauce, shredded cheese, and pizza topping.
  4. Return under the broiler just until cheese is melted.
  5. SERVE