I would definately agree there is a significant corrolation. I feel more physically fit when I "prepare" to train. This preperation begins when I go to bed and continues as I wake up. This means getting proper sleep. My optimum amount of sleep is 9 hours before the day I train. I alternate training days to allow my body to recover, and on these days, I find it best to get 10 hours. Obviously, this is my IDEAL situation, and might not happen very often.
I try to eat a balanced, healty diet. I also believe that drinking water throughout the day is also very important. I have heard there is much disagreement between eastern and western medicine when it comes to the amout of water we should drink. Infact, I have even heard, that if you have a cramp in your side it means that you drank too much/little water, depending on which philosophy you subscribe to. Ironically enough, if you do some research, you will find that the symptoms for underhydration and overhydration (you would think that water bouncing would indicate this, but it doesnt always occur. Please do research before claiming that is is a bogus statement, as contrary to logic as it may seem. Infact, I will try to find and attach the link in about 5 hours) are pretty much identical. How do I know when I am inflicted with one or the other? Beats me. I am no specialist. This is what I have found works for me:
Drink water throughout the day before you train. Since everyone is different and requires a different amount of water, you must let your body tell you what is the right amount. I find that drinking about a half glass every 2 hours is very beneficial to me. Also try to space your meals out evenly so that your body has a chance to digest the food.
When I get to the point where I am about 2 hours before I am going to train, I tend to do better when I eat carbohydrates and sodium. Now I couldnt tell you the difference between a simple and complex carbohydrate, so maybe someone else can fill in that little gap. But I have heard that it helps for exercise and seems to help for me. I know sodium is important though because if you are like me at all, I drench my gi in sweat. Sweat steals a significant amount of much needed sodium from the body. Sports drinks such as gatoraide are supposed to replenish this with electrolytes. Again this is from memory, so if i get the factual portions wrong (versus my anectodal evidence, which is just my opinion through trial and error) please correct me. This would also be the time I take my final significant drink of water, and it should be limited at that.
After this final meal/drink two hours I find that drinking anymore fluids actually makes things worse. I dont feel dehydrated when this happens, its just a lack of energy. This is probably related to the aforementioned soduim/electrolyte thing. While training I take sips of water regularly, usually after every hour (for periods of 2-4 hours usually). The sips should be limited to less than a mouthfull however. Although I do swallow the water, it might be better not to. I have not tested this yet. It would make sense, as boxers spit their out their water when fighting. I would assume it is for similar reasons.
When the training is complete resist the urge to gulp down 3 gallons of water. This is one of the mistakes I make most often. After experimenting, I have found that it is indeed better to space out the water consumption after training as well. You can relate this to doing a short 15 minute walk after the 5 mile run so that your muscles get a chance to "cool off". I have heard the reasons for this ranging from giving your body time to absorb the water, to not diluting the blood stream, as it will allow less nutrients to flow. Whatever the reasons, this is what I found works best.
Not so surprisingly, I found when I drank caffine (SODA and COFFEE! I know, its painful to give up
) it was detrimental to my overall physical performance.
I have been very interested in this subject, as you can tell by my self experements (with me as the guinea pig
), and how I have asked many people for their opinions on the subject. I welcome everyones personal experiences, expecially if there are any medical doctors (eastern and western medicine) in the house. If there are any factual errors please correct them.