I got my first CamelBak hydration system sometime in the 1990’s. I saw the first ads for it in Bicycling Magazine while I was living in Japan. Their slogan of “Hydrate or Die” was fabulous and really stuck with me. Despite it being inaccurate (you’ll die eventually, despite your hydration levels), I thought it was insanely funny and it’s one of the slogans that’s immediately top of mind for me.
Hydration’s important for a lot of activities, but it’s especially important when you’re using KAATSU. The instruction to hydrate is front and center in the instruction manual, quick start guide, and the “Do’s and Don’ts” of KAATSU. Why is it so important?
KAATSU causes an engorgement of blood in the limbs. Your blood volume slightly shifts when this happens. There’s a little bit more blood in your limbs and a little bit less in the core of your body. When you’re properly hydrated, this shift isn’t a big deal. If you are dehydrated, this shift can leave you feeling lightheaded. Proper hydration is a foundation of proper KAATSU use.
On a personal note, after reading the book WIN: Achieve Peak Athletic Performance, Optimize Recovery and Become a Champion by Dr. James DiNicolantonio, Siim Land, and Tristin Kennedy, I started using a salt based electrolyte solution to ensure good hydration. It’s definitely a good read and explains the biochemistry behind good hydration.
So, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!