Your workout motivation—or rather un-motivation—could be directly linked to dehydration
How Dehydration Affects Tennis Performance1 of 6
A normal day of activity can cause a mild (1 percent to 2 percent) or moderate (2 percent to 5 percent) dehydration. We often don't start feeling thirsty until we have lost 1 percent to 2 percent of our body water, which means that the majority of people walk around mildly dehydrated all day long.
A 2 percent loss of body water can result in a 20 percent decline in performance, when it comes to athletic indicators like power, strength and speed, studies have found. This sounds like a significant performance loss, but it's even worse that you might think because dehydration also has a significant impact on the athlete's cognitive performance.
Motor Skills2 of 6
Motor skills are important for tennis players and all athletes. An interesting study of cricket players showed that at 2.8 percent dehydration, the speed of their deliveries remained the same. However, the length of their bowls and the accuracy of the line was reduced by 15 percent.
Another study of golfers found that at two percent or more water loss, their shot accuracy degraded from an average 12.3 feet (4.1 meters) from the intended target to 23.7 feet (7.9 meters). The shot distance decreased from an average of 386 feet (128.6 meters) to 343 feet (114.4 meters).
In tennis, you need similar motor skills. Keep yourself hydrated so you don't lose them.
Attention3 of 6
When testing the ability to pay attention, the studies concluded that one percent to two percent dehydration doesn't cause much of a drop in performance. Dehydration beyond two percent causes the attention performance to drop rapidly. You can't focus on the ball or your strategy. Stay hydrated and you will remain sharp through the entire match.
Effort4 of 6
Researchers from a recent King's College London study compared the brain activity and cognitive performance of 10 participants when properly hydrated and then in a dehydrated state. At first, it seemed like being dehydrated didn't matter much. However, performing tasks when dehydrated led to a large increase in neural effort in a part of the brain, which is required for complex thinking. The participants' brains had to work harder to achieve the same level of performance as when they were hydrated.
When you're dehydrated you start losing your focus. You may not have the same will to train hard. You lose all the motivation and inspiration, and your performance goes downhill.
Mood5 of 6
Other studies concluded that when you lose around two percent of your body's water, you experience headaches, have difficulty concentrating, and experience fatigue. All this makes it more difficult to have a productive tennis practice or focused workout.
Our brains are already overworked, so make it easier on them and drink more water. Next time you don't feel motivated to workout, feel tired or cranky, have a headache or just aren't in the mood to practice, go and have a glass of water and see if you mood and attitude changes. It might be enough to feel inspired again. If not, you can also try a short 10 to 20 minutes power nap, then have another glass of water, and you will be ready.
Even though it's possible to drink too much water, it's not nearly as common as dehydration.