How-To Guides

Staying Hydrated Pre, Post & During Your Workout
Staying Hydrated Pre, Post & During Your Workout
12.22.22 Written By: Karla Tafra Staying hydrated throughout the day is important no matter your level of activity, but the need for fluids exponentially increases with your daily expenditure. Working out causes you to sweat more than you usually would during the day and it’s essential to not only replenish the fluids you have lost, but to also prepare yourself and start your workouts already hydrated. The Importance of Staying Hydrated During Workouts Being properly hydrated throughout your workouts helps optimize all of the functions in your body, but even more so, it helps to improve your overall athletic performance, increase your energy levels, and avoid premature buildup of lactic acid which might cause you to cramp up or get fatigued too soon. Additionally, adequate hydration will promote better recovery and have you ready for your next intense workout session sooner than you might think. Water helps flush out toxins from your body, reduces inflammation, regulates body temperature, and enhances the transport of nutrients throughout the body. All of these processes are essential during and after your workout so that you can achieve progress and reach your health, performance, and fitness goals. This is why it’s important to look at your hydration efforts in three different stages: before, during, and after your workouts. Hydration Before Your Workout Hydration starts when you wake up and that’s why it’s always encouraged to start the day with a glass of plain water. This jump starts your metabolism and gets everything flowing while replenishing lost fluids during the night. The American Council on Exercise recommends you should drink 17 to 20 oz of water two to three hours before your workout and then another eight oz 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or while you’re warming up. But, if you’re someone who likes to work out first thing in the morning, that might not be possible. However, this only means that getting that glass or two of plain water as soon as you wake up is even more important as you’re preparing your body to sweat. Depending on the night before and how hydrated you went to sleep, you might feel like your body needs more than just a couple of glasses so listen to your body and drink up, even if you have to pause your workout for a bathroom break.  On the other hand, if you’re someone who prefers exercising later in the day, try sticking to the aforementioned 17 to 20 oz a few hours and eight oz half an hour before your workout session. Additionally, if you’ve eaten something high in sodium or it’s been a particularly hot summer day, you might need to increase those values to properly hydrate your body and prepare your muscles for strain. Hydration During Your Workout During exercise, your muscles contract and generate heat which stimulates your sweat glands to start flushing out water as a way of cooling down and regulating your internal body temperature. How much water you’ll lose during your workout depends on a variety of factors, from the workout style and exertion level to the temperature of the room and your own sweat rate. Some people sweat more than others and if you’re genuinely interested in the exact amount of fluids you lose during a workout, there is a mathematical equation that can make it more clear: Generally, for every 16 oz that you sweat, you will lose one pound of body weight. In about an hour-workout, you will on average lose 16-24 oz of sweat. You can easily test it out by weighing yourself before and after your workout and baselining your sweat rate. The ACE recommends drinking seven to 10 oz of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise, but this might not always be possible. What is important is that you have your water bottle with you at all times and try to sip as much as possible without over-drinking. Additionally, sweating causes not just the loss of water but also  electrolytes which are essential not just for your athletic performance, but for your overall health and well-being. Generally, sweating causes us to lose sodium and chloride the most and that’s why the majority of electrolyte drinks contain high levels of these two important mineral salts. Being electrolyte-depleted can result in loss of power, energy, strength, agility, and even concentration, and it can cause muscle cramps and fatigue. Hydration After Your Workout Even if you’re properly hydrating during your workout, you still need to replenish after you’ve finished. ACE recommends at least eight oz 30 min after your workout, and that’s assuming you didn’t skip on your water intake during exercise. On the other hand, if you haven’t really replenished enough during a workout, this is where post-workout hydration and electrolyte intake matters the most. When you workout also plays a huge role in your hydration levels throughout the day as you still need to ensure you’re drinking enough before you go to sleep. Everyone’s water needs are different, but there are some signs of dehydration to look for in case you’re wondering if you should be drinking more water after your workout: Feeling thirsty - it’s usually said that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The jury is still out on that one as different people have different needs, but if you feel thirsty, drink up. Color of urine - Your urine should be a light, straw-like color during the day. If it’s darker, it usually means you’re dehydrated. Dry skin and lips - one of the most obvious signs you’re dehydrated Headache - might be a sign of dehydration. If it goes away after replenishing with water, it’s definitely due to low water levels. Muscle cramps - although not uncommon after a workout, especially an intense exercise session, cramps can also be a sign of post-workout dehydration. In addition to drinking water and other hydrating drinks, a great way to ensure proper hydration is by increasing your intake of hydrating foods such as soups, broths, celery, cucumber, berries, and watermelon. These foods add a variety of other vitamins and minerals to your diet, helping nourish your body and optimize your body functions. Final Thoughts Avoiding dehydration is essential for the proper function of your organs and your general health, and exercise-induced sweating makes the importance of drinking water even more essential. Stay on top of your hydration game and keep on sipping!
The Dangers of Dehydration (and How to Avoid Them)
The Dangers of Dehydration (and How to Avoid Them)
12.22.22 Written By: Karla Tafra Our bodies are roughly 60-70% water which keeps on circulating through our system, supplying our tissues, muscle, and organs with oxygen and nutrients. But, fortunately and unfortunately, it doesn’t stay locked inside. We say fortunately because by losing water, we get to flush out all the toxins and harmful substances that tend to accumulate in our bodies throughout the day, and we say unfortunately because many people don’t replenish the adequate amounts, leaving them at a high risk of dehydration and all the dangers and negative side effects it brings along. What is Dehydration? Dehydration is a very common condition that occurs when the water levels in your body aren’t at their optimal state. This happens when you lose more fluid than you drink, and it can result in fatigue, nausea, muscle cramps, brain fog, digestive issues, and some really severe conditions such as heat exhaustion, heatstroke, seizures, kidney failure, and in the most extreme cases, death. The majority of people go through their day at least slightly dehydrated, which is why the importance of proper hydration has never been more important to emphasize. It might be the reason why you’re more tired than you should be or why your digestion has slowed down. It might also be the reason for your food cravings as your body is in need of minerals and other nutrients water helps to transport around your body. Dehydration is definitely not to be neglected and since there are some quite severe conditions it might induce, it’s important you learn about all the negative side effects and grab that water bottle  a bit tighter. Hydration Before Your Workout First and foremost, when you’re feeling thirsty you’re probably already dehydrated. Some people like to frame it as “it’s already too late,” as you might have begun to feel some of the negative effects, but in reality there is no such thing as being too late. Just take it as a sign to grab your water bottle and drink up! Additionally, there are some other symptoms which might point out to dehydration: Your urine color - the best way to ensure you’re properly hydrated is to check your urine color. It should be a pale clear or slighlty yellow color, so whenever you see it darker, it’s probably a sign of dehydration. Still, the color of your urine might be different due to some specific foods and beverages, medications, and health conditions, so the urine color test might not always be completely true. That being said, drinking a cup of water just to be safe will definitely only do good in the long run, whether you’re dehydrated or not. Dry mouth and lips - another very common symptom of dehydration is dry skin and cracked lips. Again, it might also be a symptom of other causes, but drinking water as a safe precaution won’t harm you. Headaches and dizziness - even though not quite known why, but dehydration often causes headaches and dizziness so if you’re experiencing them out of the blue, you might just need to increase your fluid intake. Fatigue and tiredness - often the most common symptom of dehydration that can just as well be a sign of pretty much anything. If drinking more water helps alleviate your fatigue, at least you know that was the reason! Muscle cramps - an inadequate intake of water might cause your muscles to cramp more than usual, especially after an intense workout when you’re depleted of electrolytes. That’s why drinking plenty of water during your workouts is so crucial. These are just some of the most common symptoms of mild to mediocre dehydration, but in some cases, especially when the loss of fluids has been caused by extremely hot temperatures or illness, it might lead to pretty dangerous complications. Here are some you need to be aware of as they may seriously impair your health. Dehydration Can Cause Heat Exhaustion Heat exhaustion occurs when your body can’t cool itself down and simply overheats. Usually caused by an intense physical activity in hot weather conditions, heat exhaustion can cause dizziness, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rapid heart beat, severe sweating, and low blood pressure. These signs need to be taken seriously and dealt with immediately so you don’t experience a heat stroke. If you or someone around you is experiencing heat exhaustion, the most important action steps include cooling down with plenty of water and finding shade. If possible, add some electrolytes to your water to replenish your micronutrient levels and take small sips so you don’t overwhelm your system and allow it to cool down naturally. Dehydration Can Cause Heat Stroke If you don’t deal with heat exhaustion, it might lead to a heat stroke. A heat stroke occurs when your body cannot regulate its own temperature and fails at cooling itself down. Your body temperature might rise to 106 F in only about 15 minutes, which can cause irreparable damage to your organs and even cause disability or, in the worst cases, end fatally. The symptoms often include confusion, dizziness, seizures, slurred speech, and loss of consciousness. The first step you need to take is to call 911. Then, while you’re waiting, place wet cloths on your or the person’s skin, wet their mouth, slow sips of water, and move to a shaded area. This is a very serious condition and needs to be dealt with by professionals. Dehydration Can Cause Problems With Your Kidneys Your kidneys process and induce urine, making all the toxins leave your body. When there’s not enough water in your system, it makes it impossible for your kidneys to do a proper job and it might cause severe damage in the long run. The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is to drink more water throughout the day and keep your kidneys working at their optimal level. Dehydration Can Cause Seizures Seizures are another serious symptom that might occur due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in your body. It’s very common in those who are struggling with epilepsy and other seizure-related medical conditions, but it can happen to anyone. Seizures can be quite a traumatic experience, and although they usually aren’t extremely dangerous by themselves, they can cause respiratory problems and injuries related to falling while experiencing them. Dehydration Can Cause Low Blood Volume And last, but not least, dehydration can cause low blood volume, also known as hypovolemic shock. Low blood volume causes a dramatic drop in blood pressure which leads to a drop of oxygen in your body. This can be really serious as it limits your body’s ability to get blood to all of your organs and tissues, impairing or seizing their function. Some of the most common reasons for low blood volume-induced dehydration are extreme vomiting and diarrhea, so rehydration plays an essential role in preventing this dangerous symptom from happening. How to Prevent Dehydration? The best way to prevent dehydration is to always ensure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. And although it’s impossible to prevent mild dehydration here and there, it’s important to avoid these severe symptoms. The 8-cups-a-day phrase has long been thrown out as the golden rule and we are now aware how some people might need to drink way more than that to prevent dehydration. Additionally, if you’re an active individual, sweat easily, or live in a warm climate, you’ll definitely need more than the coveted eight cups to sustain your electrolyte levels. In addition to drinking enough water, you can add to your hydration levels by eating foods that are rich in water such as cucumbers, celery, berries, and watermelon, as well as soups, broths, and other liquid-rich meals. On the other hand, avoid alcohol, sugary drinks, sodas, and sodium-rich foods as they’re only contributing to dehydration you’re trying to prevent. Final Thoughts Dehydration is a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so whenever you experience even one of the above mentioned symptoms, take it as a sign to drink up!
A Guide To Drinking Water Before Bed
A Guide To Drinking Water Before Bed
12.22.22 Written By: Karla Tafra Staying hydrated throughout the day is a must, but what about drinking water before bed? Are you one of those people who finds that they wake up super dehydrated and keeps a water bottle near their bedside table or are you better off with having your last sip for dinner? And is one better than the other? Let’s find out! Your Body During Sleep During sleep, your body performs all the most important repairing, recovering, and rebalancing processes that help you conserve and restore energy, improve muscle recovery, promote brain function and cognition, and even help strengthen your immune system. That’s why focusing on improving your sleeping quality is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Sleep deprivation can cause a plethora of negative effects in your body, from activating inflammation and making you more prone to infections and diseases, to causing anxiety, lack of energy, and inability to focus. What Drinking Water Before Bed Does to Your Body? While you sleep and your body undergoes all of these processes, it works in hibernation mode which still requires adequate hydration levels in your body in order to allow the optimal function of all organs and tissues. And during the night, you can’t replenish those lost fluids, which leads you to believe you need to hydrate right before bed. Research shows how your body seems to be a bit smarter than you think and actually kicks in your circadian rhythm for you to retain water if you’re actually so dehydrated that it struggles to perform all of its important tasks. This is why you sometimes might wake up puffier than you would want, especially after a late, sodium-rich dinner that absorbed all the water from your system. So, does that mean that you need to drink up before bed to ensure that doesn’t happen? And is dehydration during sleep that bad? Dehydration During Sleep Even though your body knows how to regulate its water levels during the night through water retention, going to sleep already dehydrated might cause a variety of sleep disruptions. You might wake up more often, experience muscle spasms and migraines, and overall be more restless, causing poor quality sleep and reduced REM phase. REM is an important sleep phase that helps with memory consolidation, emotional processing, and brain development. It also causes dreaming and the less time you spend in it per night, the lower the chances of quality recovery. And studies show how inadequate sleep might have a direct correlation to dehydration as your body might work harder during the day as it functions in overdrive. Over-Hydration During Sleep On the other hand, drinking too much water before bed might cause a more frequent need to urinate which again makes you wake up more often during the night. This biological need might sometimes be ignored if your body is extremely tired, but most of the time it will wake you up and cause you to get out of bed and take a trip to your bathroom. And while some people have no trouble falling back asleep, others struggle with nocturia, sometimes staying up for hours before finally dozing off. This contributes to sleep deprivation and overall poor sleep quality which has a detrimental effect on your overall health over time. Late Night Meals and Drinking Water So, if drinking too much before bed causes you to wake up more often and potentially disrupts your sleep, what happens if you’re used to late-night meals? Should you be drinking water after your dinner? Late-night meals are generally not recommended as they’re known to cause digestive discomfort that can further affect your sleep quality, and adding fluids to the table only makes your body work harder to digest your food before you’re off to dreamland. On the other hand, going hungry to bed might also cause sleep disruptions and negatively affect your sleep. So, what are you to do? How to Prevent Dehydration Before Bed Without Disrupting Your Sleep? The goal is to find that sweet spot of staying hydrated before you go to sleep, but avoiding drinking a whole bottle of water right before you get under the covers. How this looks for you and your daily schedule will depend on a variety of factors, from how you deal with hydration throughout the day to what type of foods you’ve included in your meal plan. Some of the best tips to prevent sleep disruptions either by muscle cramps caused by dehydration or frequent urination caused by drinking too much include: Stay hydrated throughout the day - probably the best tip you can follow to avoid going to sleep dehydrated is to drink plenty of water during the day. If you’re tracking your water intake, don’t leave the majority of your daily goal for after dinner. Rather space it out throughout the day so you’re always working with adequate water levels. Avoid late meals - if possible, try to schedule an earlier dinner and avoid late meals that will make you feel thirsty. Avoid late workouts - again, if possible, try to avoid working out before bed as it will undoubtedly make you intake more fluids than you normally would, causing you to wake up during the night. Improve your sleep quality - and not just for the sake of avoiding dehydration. Implementing good sleeping habits will help improve your overall health and longevity, help strengthen your immune system, and lower your risk of infections. Keep your bedroom temperature moderate - a hot sleeping environment may cause you to sweat and lose precious fluid and electrolytes. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed - since both are known to have a diuretic effect, they might cause you to wake up and run to the bathroom. Additionally, caffeine is a stimulant and might make it harder for you to fall asleep. Avoid sugar-filled drinks and food in the late part of your day - sugar is known to cause dehydration so it’s best if you stay away from it in the evening and especially right before bedtime. Hydrate in the morning - no matter how well-hydrated you were yesterday, start your day with a glass of water. Not only will it help mitigate any potential dehydration stages during the night, but it will also stimulate your digestive system, jumpstart your metabolism, and help you start your day on the right note. So, When To Drink Water Before Bed? Experts recommend reducing your water intake in the hour or two before you go to bed and slowly weaning out during the day. So, say you’re going to sleep at 10 pm. The ideal time to have your last meal would be around 7 pm, with the latest glass of water shortly after that. If you feel thirsty during the time between your dinner and sleep, it’s absolutely fine to sip some water and prevent dehydration. Just don’t chug a whole water bottle at once. Final Thoughts Dehydration is a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so whenever you experience even one of the above mentioned symptoms, take it as a sign to drink up!
Four Ways To Level Up Your Cocktail Game
Four Ways To Level Up Your Cocktail Game
10.28.22 Raise your hand if it’s ever happened to you: you sit down at a bar and order a classic cocktail – say, a Manhattan – a formula you’ve made at home dozens of times. But on first sip, the flavor blows away your expectations. It’s the drink you love, but so much better! If you’re sometimes mystified by the curious craft of tending bar, you’re not alone. And it might be a sign that you’re ready to elevate your home cocktail repertoire. Stanley’s new Lifted Spirits collection is here to help, with tips and techniques to take your mixology game to the next level. SHAKE VERSUS STIR Do you know which cocktails to shake and which to stir? The rule of thumb is that shaking is for drinks that contain juice or other mixers, and stirring is for drinks that contain solely spirits. But as James Bond showed us, it really comes down to personal preference. If you like frothier cocktails with more water content, then shake it up. If you like stiff drinks and less dilution, then stirring is for you. Try it with: The Lifted Spirits Prismatic™ Craft Cocktail Shaker | 12oz Details we love: The geometric base design adds visual interest while you shake or stir.   CREATE SILKY SPIRITS Want to cut bitterness and add silkiness to your cocktails? You can do so through a centuries-old process known as milk washing. Though its heyday was in the 1800s, this technique is making a comeback with pro and home bartenders alike, which uses milk to clarify certain spirits or even pre-mixed cocktails. In short, you add your spirit of choice to whole milk, use citric acid to curdle the milk, then strain off the curds. It might sound strange, but the result is softer, more luscious libations. Want to know more? Get all the milky details. Try it with: The Lifted Spirits Prismatic™ Rocks Glass | 6oz Details we love: See your clarified cocktail sparkle against the prismatic interior, designed to resemble fine-cut crystal. THE RIGHT ICE Photo by Liz Devine. Sure, you know ingredients matter when it comes to the spirits and mixers, but don’t forget the ice. It’s an essential ingredient in many cocktails, and it can be a fun way to add personality to your drinks. The possibilities are endless. Add color by freezing herbs or edible flowers into your cubes. Make ice spheres by using silicon molds and boiling water to achieve crystal clear globes. Another option? Harken back to pre-refrigeration days by getting a block of ice and a good old fashioned ice pick. Impress guests with large, irregular bergs afloat in their whiskey sodas. Try it with: The Lifted Spirits Prismatic™ Highball Glass | 12oz Details we love: Double-wall vacuum insulation keeps your drink cold while you sip at your leisure. MAKE A BATCH Photo by Adam Glick. Gathering for the holidays? Heading to the backcountry with your friends? Or maybe it’s been a long day and pouring jiggers and juicing citrus feels like too much right now. Enter the batch cocktail. Certain mixtures hold up perfectly well when made ahead in big batches – some even benefit as flavors meld together over time. Consider this Batch Boulevardier. Batch cocktails store nicely in your refrigerator and save you from having to mix individual drinks on the spot. Try it with: Classic Stay Chill Pitcher | 64oz Details we love: The classic design and stainless-steel construction are made for both patio tables and kitchen tables. Have a cocktail you love to make? Share it with us by tagging @stanley_brand on Instagram!