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What drinking and training have in common


Seriously. As I write this, it is 3:38 in the morning and I can't sleep.

As I have gotten older, I started waking up in the wee hours of the morning unable to sleep. It took a bit of investigating, but I realized it happened EVERY Saturday early morning one fall when we were playing on a Friday night kickball league. It's not that I would go out and drink loads, but I would have a beer or two after (and during) the games. From that, I quickly realized that it had to do less with how much alcohol I drank and more with how much water I consumed in the process. IE, if I made sure to drink enough water-- even while having some beers-- the chances of sleeplessness greatly went down. Since, I have tried to limit the alcohol intake and up the water consumption. (Not always successfully, but I try...)

So, here I am, clean as a whistle. Haven't had a drop of alcohol all day and it is nearly 4:00 am and I can't sleep. So.... why?

It comes back to hydration. I went for quite a long ride today and didn't drink probably as much as I SHOULD have. Leaving me awake and dehydrated, not from alcohol, but from working out. I guess I learned my lesson. I need to focus on hydrating properly not only during, but AFTER hard workouts.

Here's another lesson about hydrating:
These things are great! They are tablets you drop in water and they dissolve to provide you with a flavored, carbonated water filled with electrolytes. They are mighty yummy on a run when you are depleted and need a boost. Plus, they are not sugary (like Gatorade) so it is a great alternative when you need your electrolytes, but feel over-sugared. I found them this summer via my friend Sonja.

Anyways, what I have also learned is that they are great for recovery. Both after a hard workout or after a glass (or bottle) of wine. They "flavor" your water with both taste and electrolytes, speeding your hydration and improving how you feel. It's awesome. So now I try to have some Nuun not only after a run, but after a night of drinking and it has proved to be most helpful. Think I should be a Nuun spokesperson?

So there is what I have learned about hydrating, dehydrating and recovery. Take it for what you will. I am going to go have some Nuun and get some sleep. :)