“Water is the driving force of all nature.” – Leanordo Da Vinci
Feeling a little sluggish during your workouts?
Do you get the afternoon slump?
Working through that mild head ache again?
If so you may not be drinking enough water.
It’s hard to imagine that something so simple can have that much of an impact on your health.
Drinking enough fluids to keep your body hydrated can be one the healthiest things you do and it’s relatively easy to accomplish.
Yet it’s my experience that it’s often overlooked. It may be that it’s just too basic or too simple to demand the attention it deserves.
Whatever the case may be, proper hydration has a large impact on your health as well as on your workouts.
The Health Benefits
Here’s a list of why drinking plenty of water is so important.
1. Adequate water balance is vital for protecting organs and tissue.
2. Water lubricates joints and even acts as a shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord.
3. Regulates body temperature by sweating.
4. Helps dissolve nutrients and helps to carry these nutrients and oxygen to our cells.
5. Helps control caloric intake and appetite.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of drinking water is that it prevents dehydration.
A state of Dehydration occurs when your drinking less water than what your body needs.
Dehydration can cause some serious health problems.
Even with just mild to moderate dehydration you can experience symptoms of fatigue, dizziness and even headaches. With severe dehydration you may experience low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, loss of the ability to sweat, unconsciousness and even death.
Dehydration and Exercise Performance
Dehydration can have a big impact on your performance as well. If you become dehydrated during exercise your aerobic capacity is reduced (your bodies ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles and body).
It also results in an increased body temperature, heart rate, perceived exertion and possibly an increased reliance on carbohydrates as fuel source. Depending on the severity you may also experience reduced muscle endurance and strength, cramps, reduced motor skills, and fatigue.
So what does this mean for your exercise program and your results?
It means your going to struggle, and you’re going to struggle big time. You’re going to hit the “wall” sooner and severely reduce your fat burning potential.
How Much Water Do You Need?
So how much water do you need on a daily basis?
There are no concrete rules as to how much you should drink. There are however, some good general recommendations that can give you a good starting point.
Start by drinking “8 of 8”. That is, drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of fluids every day.
It’s a recommended minimum to drink 64 oz of fluids daily, chances are you’ll need more but drinking 64 oz is a nice goal to work towards.
If your looking to get more specific with how much fluid your body needs then try this recommendation.
Drink half your body weight in ounces every day.
Let’s use a quick example. If you weigh 150 pounds, then you should drink 75 ounces (150 pounds/2). This method is more personalized and you may find that it meets your body’s hydration demands better than the recommended 64 oz.
Apply It – Your Action Plan
Now it’s up to you.
Information and knowledge is great but it’s meaningless unless you put consistent action behind it.
Start planning on how your going to get this accomplished each and every day.
Here are a few action steps that I recommend.
1. Get in the habit of drinking two glasses of water upon waking up in the morning.
2. Bring a bottle of water to work.
3. Schedule water breaks away from your desk during your work day.
4. Have water with all your meals and snacks.
5. Drink water during your workouts. You’re going to take breaks anyway, might as well benefit from the down time.
Pick One Action Step
All you have to do is pick one action step mentioned above and work on it for a month or two.
Before you know it that one action step nailed down to a habit.
Then you’re ready to take another step towards better health and greater fitness.
In strength and longevity,
Please leave a comment below and let us know how you are planning to increase your water intake. Or if you already drink more than 64 oz. then share with us how you do it. We’d love to hear how you’ve created this healthy habit.