Are you drinking enough water? Water is at the core of our entire existence. Our bodies are made up of about 65% water and our bodies need water to function properly. Water aids in a number of physiological and biochemical processes relating to circulation, metabolism, regulation of body temperature and waste removal and detoxification. Each day, regardless of exercise, our bodies lose fluid. When we exercise we produce by products of heat and sweat. The more sweat we produce the more we need to establish proper hydration and replenishment of fluids. Once our bodies lose between one and two percent of its total water content, we begin to feel thirsty. This signal for thirst also signals the early stages of dehydration. A two percent level of dehydration can cause a decrease of 10% in performance. If you're consistently dehydrated or not drinking water because you are worried about weighing in on the scales, consider the overall effect on your performance.
When we train we want optimal performance, so as to achieve the optimal output in each training session. If performance is not a high priority in your life then consider the larger, more important health risks. Mild dehydration can cause headaches, irritability, cramps, bad breath, infrequent urination, and fatigue. These mild symptoms, when ignored, can develop into severe dehydration which can be life threatening.
How much water should you be drinking? Drinking to thirst can often leave you in a too little too late position. A sound way of monitoring your water intake is monitoring how often you urinate. Studies suggest it is healthy to urinate 7-8 times a day. If you haven't been to the toilet in a couple of hours you most likely need to consume more water. It is important to consider external influences such as heat and humidity when consuming water. Remember to consider water intake with specific regard to water and only water.
The majority of your fluid intake for the day should come from water, not coffee, tea, juice or sports drinks. Some handy tips for increasing water intake:
- Start the day with a glass of water. Before coffee, before tea, drink a glass of water to get the day started and to kick start your hydration.
- Leave a bottle on your work desk, visible and in reach.
- Drink from a glass bottle, so as to avoid the harmful contaminants found in plastic bottles.
- Set yourself alarms or reminders on your phone to help establish and encourage a sustainable water intake.
- Replace one tea or one coffee with water.
- Use the water intake feature in your food diary, every day!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.