Proper hydration is important when using KAATSU, but what constitutes proper hydration? For years we’ve been told to drink 8 glasses of water per day? Where did that come from, anyway?
The 8 x 8 Theory
In 1945 a water intake recommendation of 1 ml/kcal of energy expended was published by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council. This recommendation included the water one consumes in food and beverages combined. If one were to consume 2000 kcal/day, that would translate to 2 litres of water per day – but not all of this was to be consumed from liquids. There was no research cited with this recommendation, so we don’t really know why the board made this recommendation. The takeaway: drinking eight 8 oz glasses of water per day is NOT the holy grail of water consumption for everyone on the planet.
Your Needs Will Vary
How much water you need will depend on your overall health, where you live, how active you are, your age, and a variety of other factors. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have suggested 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups for women. Again, these figures include the fluids in the fooods you eat as well as beverages. You also need to consider that in hot climates or when exercising or competing you will need more fluids – and of course, you should consider your electrolyte balance when you’re making choices on what to drink. Plain water dilutes your body’s electrolytes which could put you at risk of worse performance outcomes if you’re exercising or in a competition.
There’s no one answer and ultimately you have to find what’s right for you. In general, KAATSU protocols recommend drinking 500 ml of fluid within the hour before doing KAATSU and taking in additional fluids regularly during KAATSU to avoid doing KAATSU while dehydrated. Let’s raise a glass (of water or an electrolyte drink) to happy and safe KAATSU-ing!