Talking from personal experience and drawing upon science, I discuss the importance of hydration for tactical athletes.
A tactical athlete combines strength and cardiovascular activity, two important physical components when it comes to performing intense exercise for long periods of time. Generally, and speaking from experience, tactical athletes are also those who serve, whether in the British army like myself (currently operating as a PTI for the Coldstream guards in Westminster, London), or in other armed forces regiments.
When many people think of tactical athletes, however, they exclusively think of strength and cardio, failing to factor in other components of performance, such as hydration. In my early years, I too did not realise just how big a role hydration plays, thinking of this more as optional, at least to some extent, as opposed to crucial.
So, to provide greater insight, in this article I will discuss the importance of hydration for tactical athletes, beginning with increased and sustained performance.
Increased and sustained performance
Whether I’m in the field, training others, or engaging in both cardio and strength and conditioning in one day, the importance of hydration cannot go overlooked.
Without adequate fluid consumption, my performance would decrease. Mainly, this is because, with less water content in the bloodstream, oxygen cannot be delivered as quickly to the muscles. This can result in cramps, and generally, worse performance.
However, that’s not the only risk, on particularly hot days, you also run the danger of becoming dehydrated, suffering from headaches, or other heat-related incidents.
Prevent your body from overheating
Tactical athletes often spend a lot of time in hot climates, carrying around heavy weapons and other equipment. When in the field, if you do not consume another water (or other fluids) then you run the risk of overheating.
With too high a core temperature, your body can quite quickly begin to shut down, perhaps experiencing symptoms of heat exhaustion, including dizziness, confusion, excessive sweating, shivers, severe headaches, and other nasty consequences.
Therefore, when I’m training or out in the field, I ensure to drink plenty of water, 500ml minimum before exercise, water throughout the day (or mid exercise), and where possible, consuming more water through the night (if I happen to wake up).
These are just some methods I use to maintain adequate hydration, all of which you can implement instantly, not only for improved performance, but for increased safety, too.
As a tactical athlete, I am constantly moving, whether that’s in the field, or switching between both cardio and strength training sessions. Therefore, I cannot afford to get injured. Consuming plenty of water and following a hydration plan enables your body to flush out harmful toxins, speeding up the recovery process.
Furthermore, avoiding cramps and other muscle spasms related to insufficient water intake further reduces your risk of injury - so drink up.
If you would like to find out more information on the importance of hydration, or alternatively, would like to find out more details regarding my one to one coaching, then you can contact me directly. Alternatively, you can also find me on Instagram @farrenmorgan_coaching