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by January 16, 2017

Written for the International Laser Class Association


Holistic Health Practitioner

SailFit, Inc


Protein helps us repair, maintain and grow muscle mass. Proteins are made up of amino acids. A healthy adult needs 20 amino acids, 9 that the body cannot manufacture and 11 that the body can manufacture. However when the body is under stress such as illness, prolonged exercise or injury the body has trouble making sufficient amounts of the 11 amino acids that we naturally produce. It’s our job to provide the body with sufficient amounts of those amino acids so that we can perform at our top levels. Most commonly people eat animal proteins to achieve this. I think that we can take our athletic performance to another level by only consuming plant based proteins. Did you know that plants have protein? Where do you think the cow’s get their protein from?

Proteins are digested starting in the mouth then to the stomach and the small intestine. The standard diet contains many fast foods, sugary foods, dairy and meat that are taxing on the body to digest. After years or even days of this type of eating stagnation starts to develop in our digestive system. It’s like trying to sail through seaweed. When the body is taxed by digestion it cannot work towards repair and recovery. Athletes need quicker muscle recovery. The quicker the recovery the better the body is able to conserve energy. The sooner the body recovers the sooner you can train/compete at the same level. 

By eating plant based whole foods this can easily be achieved. The body will not have to spend as much time on digestion and can spend more time on repair and growth of muscles. Eating this way will also easily allow you to meet fat and carbohydrate requirements needed for fuel and to keep muscle glycogen stores up. It’s a win-win. It’s finding the balance of protein carbohydrate and fat that is a very delicate balance for each individual. There can be no steadfast rule but only a guideline as each of us has a different constitution and needs for our bodies to work at optimal levels. This is something that will take a bit of experimenting. 

 Since we are focusing on protein, protein requirements are often expressed as a percentage of total daily calories. For example the Zone diet which suggests a 40-30-30 guideline. Forty percent daily calories from carbohydrates and thirty percent daily calories from protein and fat. The problem here is that if caloric intake is too low/high it can lead to skewed protein intake values. High protein diets often provide insufficient carbohydrates needed in order to replenish muscle glycogen. This can lead to dehydration.  In order to avoid these situations I think it’s better to look at how many grams per kilogram of body weight per day. The RDA recommends between 0.8 -1 g/kg/daily. Studies have now shown that the recommended protein amount for endurance athletes to stay in positive nitrogen balance to maintain skeletal muscle is between 1.2 to 1.4g/kg/day. 

So what do you eat?? I see a lot of sailors using protein powders to make up their on the water and recovery nutrition drinks. Most of these are made of Whey. Whey is a form of dairy that is very acid forming therefore inducing inflammation. You want to look for alkaline forming options which will keep the body in a healthier state and reduce inflammation. This can be found in a plant based protein. There are many on the market. There mixed plant proteins or just pea protein or rice protein. All of these are easily digested by the body. Of course foods like legumes and nuts are obvious protein choices. Some plant based foods that you may not expect to have high protein content are:

  • Broccoli, Kale and Romaine lettuce have 11.1g, 6.2g and 7.2g, respectively, per 100 calories as opposed to steak which has 6.5 g per 100 calories. 
  • Cous cous has approximately 3.8grams per 100 calories.
  • Quinoa is 11g per cup
  • Spirulina is 6 g per 10 grams 
  • Hemp is 11 grams per 30 grams.
  • Oatmeal is about 14 grams of protein per 1 cup.

There are many vegan/vegetarian endurance and strength athletes who compete at high levels. 

  • Carl Lewis, 9 times Olympic gold medalist in Track and Field, 
  • Martina Navratilova, Tennis, Winner of 59 Grand slam titles, 
  • Murray Rose, Australian Olympic  swimmer winning 6 Olympic Medals and setting 15 world records
  • Bode Miller, five time Olympic Skiing  medalist at the  winter games 
  • Rich Roll, Ultraman Competitor and the first man to compete in an Ultraman World Championship on a completely plant based diet.
  • David Zabriskie- First Vegan Tour D’France competitor

 The list is surprisingly long. It can be done you just need to make educated food choices. While this topic is a complex one I urge you to take a look at the benefits of plant based protein and your individual protein requirements. I am positive you will find a stronger faster you on the race course. 

Meka is a Holistic Health Practitioner, Holistic Nutritionist, Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutrition Consultant with a specialty in Plant Based Nutrition.  She has been training Laser sailors for over 16 years.  To learn more visit

Yacht Clubs-A Change in Menu

by October 16, 2013


By: Meka Taulbee

ACE Certified Personal Trainer


A Change in Menu

I’ve written a lot of articles that tell the sailors how they can improve their fitness and nutrition for a regatta. Now I’m going to switch things up a bit and talk about how the Yacht clubs can help the sailors during a regatta.

There are different types of regatta’s that approach the idea of lunch on the water in different ways. Mainly in youth regattas you will find that at some point during the day the race committee stops and support boats hand out lunches on the water. Sometimes you will find the same in a larger regatta like a North Americans or US Championships. Yet still there are other regatta’s that do nothing for lunches and it is up to the sailors to provide themselves with some sort of nourishment on the water. At most every regatta you will be able to find water being passed out in between races.  I don’t feel that any of these approaches are a bad idea, but I do think we can offer some better choices for the sailors that will benefit them and their regatta more.

If any of you have gotten training from me or been to one of our seminars and heard me talk you know that one of my biggest gripes is the lunches that are served on the water. I would say that 95% of the lunches served on the water look something like this:

-Sandwich on white bread with some variation of deli meat and cheese. 

-Packets of Mayo or mustard 



While I wouldn’t recommend this lunch at any time I certainly would not recommend it while you are racing. Here are a few reasons why. 

  1. White bread has the most sugar and the least nutritional content of any other type of bread. 
  2. Deli meats and cheese are pretty heavy on your stomach and take a long time for the body to digest. Even if they are kept in a cooler they don’t last that long without starting to go bad. If they do last that long then we should wonder what they are putting in them to make them last.
  3. While some condiments have a great self life they are hard to open and I have seen lots of them floating in the water. Sailors’ hands are slippery and so are those little packets!
  4. Chips are greasy and salty and hard for the body to digest. They give no nutritional value and certainly won’t boost your energy. 
  5. Cookies are one of the worst. They are loaded with sugar and while they may give a quick sugar rush you will crash before you hit the first mark in the next race. 

Sugars and salts will leave you feeling thirsty and looking for more water than your stomach has room for if you ate the whole lunch. This type of lunch will make you feel full and give you a short burst of energy. The type of sugar in these items is a simple sugar and will breakdown quickly leaving your body feeling like it hit a wall rather then energizing it. Think about what you ate at Thanksgiving. It’s pretty similar to what this lunch looks like. Now think about what you did after you ate Thanksgiving dinner. Most people sat back and waited to digest so they could eat more. Did you loosen your belt buckle, take a nap, watch the game. I bet you didn’t feel like thinking on your toes and ducking under the boom a few times in hopes of crossing the line first!  

Yes, the food you eat can affect how you think as well. When your blood sugar levels get low it is hard for you to concentrate. If you can’t concentrate and think clearly then it is hard to make good tactical decisions on the water. You will get frustrated more easily which often times leads to loosing your focus. You have to keep your head in the game to put together a good regatta. 

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to help a yacht club with their meal planning for the North American Championships. It has always been my feeling that the money spent on those big lunches could be put to better use or to cut the registration fee. My suggestion was to provide the sailors with a nice breakfast each day and at least one nice dinner. On the water I suggested giving them a protein bar (key word here is “protein”) as much fruit as they wanted and as much water as they wanted.

The first morning of racing came and the Yacht Club put out a wonderful breakfast. They had real bagels, cereal, toast, eggs, juice, milk, water and other traditional breakfast items. This same breakfast was served every morning. I arranged for a company called EAS to help supply us with the bars. The Yacht club handed out as many bananas, apples, oranges and bars between each race as each sailor wanted. They also handed out tons of water. During the regatta they had a nice dinner as well. The cost of the regatta was down, as compared to most regattas, and the satisfaction of the sailors was up. I heard so many sailors stating that this was a better setup and how much they appreciated what had been done.  

I am encouraging the yacht clubs to consider revising their “traditional” meals and trying something like this. I am encouraging the sailors to try this out and to encourage their yacht clubs to adapt a new way of doing things! Let’s work together to make the sailors the best they can be. I am more than happy to help any club prepare for a regatta. 

On another note I would like to give a big congratulations to Anna Tunnicliffe ( ) and Andrew Campbell ( ). They will be representing the Laser class at the 2008 Olympic Games. They have both worked very hard on their sailing and fitness and are a positive role model for all sailors. Please take a moment to look at their web-sites and don’t hesitate to make a donation. It takes a lot to put together a good campaign and it certainly doesn’t come for free. They are both very deserving.

As always, if you want to hear about a certain topic or have any questions about this experiment feel free to contact me. You can always find me at or email directly to I look forward to hearing from you

Sailing Fitness The Holistic Approach

by January 16, 2013


The Holistic Approach

By: Meka Taulbee

The sport of sailing doesn’t come without its toll on the body. As with any activity if you want a long lasting career you need a fine tuned machine. Everyone puts a lot of prep work into their boats but often forget to do the same for their body. We have all read about how stretching and strength training can prevent injuries but I’d like to take a more holistic approach by showing how nutrition affects performance and may increase/decrease injury.

Our muscles should be soft and pliable. When they don’t get proper hydration and nutrition they become brittle and are more apt to pull, tear and strain.  This is not only true for our muscles but for all of our organs.  If our organs and muscles are not working properly, it will cause the rest of our body to try to compensate. This can show up in the form of back pain, knee injury and muscle soreness leading to poor race performance and a lack of mental clarity. Preventing this is as simple as watching what we put into our bodies. There are many aspects to this line of thought but I am going to focus on just a few for now. 

The first is what you drink. The body is made up of between 65-75% water. If you are dehydrated you need to replenish the liquids in your body. If you are losing water and salt through perspiration why would you replace it with sugar and food dye? By drinking most of the sport drinks that are on the market that’s what you are doing. I know that the body has to put out a tremendous amount of energy while sailing, especially in windy conditions. If we are fueling our bodies with manufactured ingredients it is hard for the body to break them down and this takes away from our usable energy for our performance. Instead, try using plain water or coconut water. Coconut water is a natural electrolyte replacer.  If you add lemon or ginger it will be an inflammatory reducing, antibacterial energy drink. 

Did you know that one of the largest contributors to injury and lack of mental focus is refined sugar? Refined sugar moves quickly through the bloodstream jolting the pancreas and stressing the adrenal glands. This causes the formation of acid which eats up the bodies minerals and pulls calcium from the bones. This can lead to such conditions as arthritis and increased fatigue. These are two things that are not cohesive with sailing. Many energy/protein bars are laden with more sugar than substance. This also includes our daily foods while we are not racing. Watch the sugar content and you will greatly reduce those all too common back aches.

I feel that the consumption of gluten is doing athletes a big disservice. Gluten is an elastic, sticky protein found in foods such as wheat, rye and barley. It can also be found in pasta, beer and medications. Gluten causes inflammation in the digestive system as well as the body as a whole. It causes damage in the small intestine which in turn hinders the absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat. Gluten can cause such symptoms as fatigue, numbness in the hands and feet and muscle and joint pain. In sailing these symptoms can be detrimental to our performance.

Lastly, some foods that we commonly eat are hard for the body to breakdown and/or have some negative effects for someone that is working toward being in top athletic condition. One of the biggest offenders I see on the race course is bananas. Bananas are usually eaten to help replace potassium and prevent cramping. However banana’s increase moisture in the body and can increase phlegm. If you are fighting or have a cold your body is weak and you don’t want to make it weaker. Instead try an avocado. They have 35% more potassium than a banana. They are also higher in fiber. The second largest offender I see is meat. All too often I hear sailors say “it’s going to be windy, I’m going to eat a big steak”  Per 100 calories broccoli has 11.1 grams of protein as opposed to steak which has 6.5 grams of protein. Broccoli is also high in Vitamin C, Iron and B vitamins and is much easier for the body to digest than steak. Eating foods that are hard for the body to digest force it to focus on only breaking down the food and leaves the other parts of the body weak and more prone to injury. Maybe a big salad with a side of steamed broccoli on those windy days is a better way to fuel up and stay strong.

In order to best prevent injury you need to keep your body running like a well oiled machine. Stretching, proper hydration, reducing sugar, eating gluten free and plant based foods will greatly reduce your risk of injury and boost your performance. 

Meka is a certified personal trainer/Holistic Fitness and Nutrition Coach with a specialty in Plant Based Nutrition.  She has been training Laser sailors for over 12 years.  To learn more visit Meka at

The Power of H2O Revisited

by September 15, 2011


  • By: Meka Taulbee

  ACE Certified Personal Trainer


By the time you read this the Olympics will be over and most everyone will have had what I call “Olympic Fever” This is when you watch the Olympics and get so pumped up and excited that you vow that you are starting your Olympic Campaign today. For the next week you train like crazy.  Then as a few weeks go by you start to tell yourself that you’ve got 4 years so why rush. Does this sound familiar?  Well, I hate to say it, but it takes years to build up to the athletic levels of many of the competitors in Beijing. So don’t put off today what you think you can do tomorrow.

Before I go on I want to recognize some  people who are prime examples of years of training in their sport. Congratulations to Anna Tunnicliffe for achieving what so many dream of. A gold medal  at the Olympic games. Andrew Campbell is an amazing competitor and person. He’s an excellent role model of how a campaign should work. Mike Leigh is  a sailor Canada should be extremely proud of. He is relentless in his work ethic and another great role model.Lisa Ross is another sailor Canada should be proud of. Aside from just being a great person she has put in a lot of hard work and dedication and is someone  female sailors can really learn a lot from. Thank you Anna, Andrew and Mike for all of your hard work and for representing the North American Laser Class so well. 

For those of you who don’t have Olympic goals in mind, but rather just the next regatta the same applies. Many times people come up to me three days, a week or even one day before the regatta and say,  “What should I do to be in shape for this regatta?” Sorry to say, starting your fitness program the day before the regatta begins is not the way to go.  Just being in good shape for an event is not a healthy option. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will make each regatta easier and much less painful. A steady, consistent approach is the best way to reach and maintain your optimal performance levels. For example if you wanted to lose weight and keep it off the recommended weight loss rate is two pounds per week. It is unnatural for your body weight to have big swings up and down, not to mention very unhealthy. When you gain or loose weight too rapidly it has just as rapid an impact on your organs or bones. If you gain rapidly you are constricting everything inside and most times when you gain to rapidly it is fat and not muscle you are gaining. This leads to a whole host of other complications. For example elevated blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you loose too rapidly it puts the natural support system in your body in a weakened state. By taking things at a consistent pace your whole body can adjust to the changes and become stronger and healthier. 

Beijing was expected to be a very light air venue. Many of the sailors were at the lowest weight they have seen since they were junior sailors. In order to achieve their optimal weight they did not just starve themselves the week before the Olympics began. Well at least I hope they didn’t! The sailors needed to be able to maintain their strength and agility in the boat as well as being at a lighter weight. When your weight fluctuates it changes how you sail the boat. You may sail the boat differently at a higher weight than at a lower weight and vice versa. For example if you lighter you would have to depower your sail sooner as opposed to if you weighed more.

As the fall & winter sailing season approaches I would like to suggest that everyone start getting ready for the next regatta now. Even if it’s not until December or February and especially if you live up north where the sailing season is coming to an end, now is the time to start. Remember slow and steady progress is the key. Let me break it down to 3 levels.

First, start by spending a few weeks being more aware of what you are eating. NOT DIETING. Just by being more aware you will start to make better food choices naturally. Substitute 2 cans of soda per week with a bottle of water. Trade the bag of chips with lunch one day for an apple or piece of fruit. Eat Breakfast!  Most times we don’t even realize that we grabbed another handful of chips in the break room or a candy bar at the checkout until it is in our mouth or gone! When you start to pay attention you start to make different choices. Then these choices become the tendency and not the conscious decision. 

Second, spend the following few weeks adding stretching to your daily routine. Stretching is great because you can do it at work, at your desk, in the shower, while watching TV or even in bed. Then try adding in some sort of physical activity once a week.  It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get your heart rate up. Walking, running, swimming, rowing, Basketball, tennis, weight training, it doesn’t matter just get out there and do it!  After adding this activity in just once a week you’ll find that it will then become easier to add in additional sessions. Shoot for two or three times a week. Remember to change it up. Don’t always do the same activity for the same amount of time in the same place. You’ll get bored and never want to do it again. Make it fun for yourself. If you have a dog you can take the dog for a walk or run. Make it a family affair and include everyone or get a group of friends together. 

Third, put it all together. By now healthier eating habits should be becoming more second nature, you have incorporated injury prevention by stretching and some cardiovascular conditioning. If you find you are really getting into it and enjoying yourself you may try incorporating some additional weights or adding in more activities. Most people think that working out will make them tired. On the contrary, it will give you more energy. You should find that the combination of all of these things will make you sleep better, have a more positive attitude and feel energized. That alone will help boost your sailing performance. Now when you go to the next regatta you are prepared. You may not do any other activities other than sailing during the regatta and your eating habits may slip a bit, but you will already have a good base to work from. It is hard to make the most nutritional choices when you are traveling but if your body has a solid platform to begin with it is easier for it to digest and make up for what it is not getting. The one thing to try to keep up at every regatta is stretching. It will help get your muscles warmed up and loosened up.  

Whatever your goals may be just take it step by step and you’ll get there. Don’t be afraid to ask others and see what they are doing. A lot of times you can get good ideas that you can incorporate into your own program. 

I can’t wait to see you all at the next Olympic trials! As always, if you want to hear about a certain topic or have any questions about this experiment feel free to contact me. You can always find me at or email directly to I look forward to hearing from you

Lower Back Strength

by September 10, 2011

By: Meka Taulbee
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

In response to the last article I wrote I received an email inquiring how to increase strength and flexibility in the lower back. The concern here is that hiking is such a crucial part of Laser sailing and the part of the anatomy used to do this is the lower back. It seems that for most that this is the part of the body that gives out first.

To create a stronger and more flexible lower back you should start with the basics and build up on that. First you should start with your posture. No matter if you sit at a desk all day, stand all day or are actively moving all day you should be aware of your posture. Many of us have a tendency to slouch forward. This creates a strain on your back. Try to be aware of how you are holding yourself even when you are walking. You can imagine trying to balance a book on your head. I know it is an old cliché, but it works. As your posture improves you will notice less overall back pain and your muscles will become stronger.

Next you will want to properly stretch the muscles of the lower back. Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Starting with your head slowly roll your spine down toward the floor. Try to imagine each vertebrae rolling forward one at a time. Roll all the way down until your hands are as close to the floor as they can get. Stay rolled over for about 30 seconds and then roll back up to the upright position. Again imagine each vertebrae rolling up. When you are in the middle you will feel a pull in your lower back. This is normal. Many of us rush through these stretches and therefore don’t really stretch the intended muscles. Remember to go slowly and if you feel any pain don’t go any further. You may want to practice this when you wake up in the morning and/or before going to bed at night. By keeping these muscles loose it will allow them to stretch further each time and therefore increase in both strength and flexibility. You may even do this in the shower. The water will relax the muscles and make the stretch a little easier.

Another stretch that is very effective is also a very simple one. Lie flat on your stomach on the floor. Stretch your arms out straight over your head with your palms lying flat on the floor. Keep your head facing down toward the floor so your spine is in a completely straight line. Now lift your right arm straight up off the floor about 1-2 inches as you lift your left leg straight off the floor the same distance. Hold for about five seconds making sure you don’t bend your arms or legs, but rather keeping them straight. Return to the starting position and do the same with the left arm and right leg. You can start with either the right or left arm it really doesn’t matter. When starting out do 8-10 on each side and work up to 15-20.
The best way to create a stronger lower back is to create strong abdominal muscles. The two sets of muscles work together and are only as strong as the weaker one. Crunches are
a great way to strengthen both the lower back and abdominals. While most of us are familiar with a basic crunch many are not aware of the hundreds of different variations. One of these is called a reverse crunch. This is one of my favorites when concentrating on the lower back. In this exercise you need to lay on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your legs straight into the air so your feet are pointing up toward the ceiling. Now bend your knees so they are at a 90-degree angle. This is the basic starting and ending form. Now roll your back so your knees come toward your shoulders. Try not to break the form. During the whole exercise keep your lower back touching the floor. You can think of pulling your abdominals inward and upward to keep your back flat on he floor. By doing this you will be tightening the abdominals and creating a tension on them. Generate your movement from your abdominal muscles never releasing the tension you have on them. When you roll your knees toward your shoulders inhale and when you return your legs to the 90-degree position exhale. Do this exercise in a slow and controlled manner. Start by doing 8-10 of these every other day. Then work up to everyday. Increase the amount that you do, as you feel comfortable. If you feel fatigued take a break from doing them. Be sure not to tense up your neck, but to keep it loose.

Now to put some of these exercises together you can simply go for a walk. Walking at a moderate pace is a great way to work all of your muscles. Make sure you maintain good posture keeping your back straight and shoulders back. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in. Walk with your feet pointing straight in front of you and not turned out to the sides. Picture your body forming a straight line from head to toe. This doesn’t mean that you have to have a stiff military walk. Let your arms swing freely and enjoy yourself.

Last but not least practice hiking! After all isn’t this what the main goal is. To be able to hike like there’s no tomorrow! Once you start working on strengthening your lower back hiking will become easier. However hiking is an exercise in itself and requires practice. The more you do it the stronger your back, abdominals and hiking ability will become.

Once again if there is a topic you would like me to address or you have any questions/comments please feel free to email me at

Tampa Bay Kids Net II

by September 10, 2011

Make the Most of Summer with Water!!

Summer is just around the corner which means School is almost out! Now is when the real fun begins. There are so many different summer activities to choose from. Sports and summer camp are just two that come to mind. Now we all know that with summer comes the hot temperatures and high humidity. As long as we give water and our bodies the respect they deserve the weather shouldn’t get in the way of our fun.
Water deserves more credit than it is given. Surprising to most water makes up 75 percent of all muscle tissue and 25 percent of all fatty tissue. Water acts as a cushion and protects vital organs, aids the digestive system and regulates the body’s temperature by allowing heat to evaporate from the body in the form of sweat. We could not continue to live for more than a week if we deny our bodies water.

On an average the body can lose one quart of water in one hour of exercise. This of course will vary as the intensity and duration of exercise varies. Another variable is air temperature. The warmer it is outside the more the body will try to cool itself by perspiring. If there is not enough water in the body it will not be able to cool itself and will lead to a state of dehydration. If you continue to lose water one of three, heat illness related, conditions are likely to occur. These three conditions in order of seriousness are heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. With heat stroke the bodies temperature can elevate as high as 105 and the person may have hot dry skin. A person who is sweating profusely but maintains a normal body temperature is likely suffering from heat exhaustion. They may also appear pale and have a weak, rapid pulse. Heat cramps are usually dominant in active muscles such as the abdominals and calves.

During the summer I have seen heat exhaustion and dehydration too many times and in several of these cases the person didn’t even realize what they were suffering from. With dehydration being the first symptom we encounter when our bodies are lacking water we should focus on prevention. If we prevent dehydration then we prevent any other heat related illness from occurring. Without the appropriate water levels in our body we will lack energy, have muscle fatigue and even loss of coordination. It seems to me that the most common complaint I hear after a fun filled day outside is lack of energy and tired, sore muscles. Water anyone!

Performance in any activity even if it is just day to day activities is affected when the body loses as little as 2% of body weight due to dehydration. If you only pick up a drink when you are thirsty you are never in a state of hydration. When the body signals thirst it has already entered a dehydrated state. It is important to have a continuous flow of fluid through the body all day long. When exercising or playing most forget that you need to consume fluids even during your activity. After all, this is when the body is working hardest to cool itself and protect itself therefore using the most of
every bit of water it has. The best way to detect where you and dehydration stand with each other is in the color of your urine. When your urine is a dark gold to brown color you are at war and dehydration has won. When your urine is a pale yellow you are starting to take over and when it is clear you can celebrate a well-deserved victory. A few things to keep in mind are that if you are taking any kind of vitamins or medications they will change the color in various ways most commonly turning urine a fluorescent yellow color.

Although the best and most commonly heard bit of advice it is also the most commonly ignored, You Must Drink Eight To Ten Glasses Of Water Per Day. This is 8-10 on any average to low activity day. To ensure you are properly hydrated during higher levels of activity here are a few guidelines to take into consideration:
 Drink 1-2 glasses of water one hour before exercise.
 Drink I glass of water 20-30 minutes before exercise
 Drink four to six ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during exercise
 Drink an additional glass of water within ½ hour after exercise
Water is the best way to replenish lost liquid and hydrate you. While many sports drinks replace electrolytes most also contain a lot of sugars and additives that the body can do without. If you lose blood you would replace it with blood not Kool-Aid so if you loose water it makes sense to replace it with water. There are many drinks that are diuretics also. A diuretic is a substance that increases the amount of urine and salt eliminated from the body. Common diuretics are Coffee, Soda and any substance containing caffeine. If you normally consume a lot of caffeinated beverages you will want to drink additional water to replace the increased amount that will be lost.

For some of you water just may not cut it. You want something with flavor or a little more zip. You can try diluting your water with a little bit of juice. Make sure it is 100 percent juice. This will add a little taste and give just a little bit of natural sugar to give you a bit of a boost of energy. If you prefer to replace some electrolytes and want to stay away from the pure Poweraid or Gatoraid type drink, try diluting your water with one of the sports drinks you like.

For any of you that know me or have seen me you can testify that I practice what I preach. I drink at least a half a gallon of water everyday. I always have a container of water in my hand. “Never leave home with out it!” is my motto. I can testify and so can many of the athletes I have worked with, that since I have been drinking these quantities of water my energy has increased and I have incurred fewer exercise related injuries.

Don’t let the heat stop you from having fun. Just respect your body and you’ll be amazed what your body will do for you. So put it in a sporty bottle, add a slice of lemon or add a slice a lime you can dress it up however you like just make sure you drink up!! If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at
By: Meka Taulbee

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