Hydration needs, tips and methods during the Metabolic Reset (MR)
The Metabolic Reset (MR) has highly specific Hydration needs even though at this phase of your OFM journey your training load is low. These specific Hydration needs are critical to successfully navigating this fundamental paradigm-shift in your physiology. The key is to AVOID common and preventable challenges. This article provides the information and guidance necessary to avoid these issues which can derail your fat adaptation.
During the first week of the MR you will need to be keenly and consciously aware of your hydration needs because when your body makes the fundamental shift to fat as fuel you will experience diuresis (increased production of urine) and increased perspiration if exercising or in a warm to hot/humid environment. At this point the loss of urine is so sharp it can result in diminished blood volume (hypovolemia) unless proper replacement of the lost water and electrolytes, principally Sodium, occurs concurrently with the urinary and/or sweat loss of fluids.
Symptoms can include the following:
- Dizziness, particularly when standing from a sitting position of bending over
- Tachycardia (high Heart Rate without performance gains)
- Lack of energy (often feels like you are going to bonk in slow motion)
- Impaired mental cognitive capacity
- Pale skin
- Pay attention to the changes in your urinary patterns and volume from days 2-5 when diuresis will begin and approximate your fluid loss with fluid intake.
- Because Sodium loss is high it is important that your fluid intake includes sodium rich fluids and foods. In practical terms this means salt or salt rich foods and beverages like the following:
- Broth. Ideally a high quality bone broth, however, the simple broths or boullions commonly found in the supermarkets , while not ideal, will work to keep you hydrated and avoid diminished blood volume
- Olives, pickles, cheeses and deli meats; All these options are very high in Sodium.
- Salting your foods. This is something that, for most, will occur by default.
- Electrolyte products you use for training and racing. If you enjoy using non/low-calorie electrolyte products you use in training and racing by all means utilize them during the MR to maintain Sodium levels.
- Ketone Salts: Ketone Salts are a great way to bolus a large dose of electrolytes. While this is not our recommended modality to maintain electrolytes and fluid balance during the HR, for transparency and full disclosure we mention it here as a potential tool.
- It is possible to get too much Sodium which will result in temporary fluid retention/edema seen as swelling in the fingers and toes. Ingest water to help ‘flush’ the excess Sodium.
- Hydration is VERY dynamic! The goal is not perfection but awareness, action and observation to develop an intuitive sense of your Hydration needs. Pay close attention to your patterns as everyone is an Individual and the variables affecting your metabolism are manifold.
- Athletes who train in warm, hot and/or humid conditions need to recognize the swings in weight due to fluid loss and gain will be surprisingly large when fat adapted. Do not panic if the scale has large swings and recognize this is the ebb flow of fluid weight and not fat accumulation.