Did you know the human body is made up of 56-64% water? Water provides the basis for blood pressure and body temperature regulation. In addition, it is the base of digestive juices, sweat, urine and the fluid found within joints.
Q: What does that really mean? A: It means that dehydration may hinder the way your body uses the food you eat. Dehydration promotes the breakdown of stored up energy that would otherwise be used to help you perform better in your exercise. IN OTHER WORDS…drinking enough water is critical to being a healthy, active adult that continually sees results from their workouts and feels great doing day to day activities.
Q: How much water do I need to drink? A: 2-3 L of water is recommended on a regular day while increasing that amount on the days that you exercise. Try to drink a cup of water prior to exercising and drink consistently while exercising. Also have a good 1-2 cups when finished exercising.
Q: Do I need to consume sports drinks? A: Most active adults do not need to drink sports drinks. They are only beneficial if you are exercising for more than 60-90 min. Even then, unless you are in training at an athletic level, most people do not need the extra calories or electrolytes that those drinks provide.
Let’s look at some goals that will help you gain the hydration that will help your body to work at its best!
- Start by trying to drink one cup of water when you wake up and one cup with each meal. Start with a small goal, one that you know you can accomplish. Once you have accomplished a goal you will feel more confident and ready to tackle more challenging ones.
- Drink more water and less sugary drinks. After setting your goals, develop some strategies for accomplishing your goals. For this goal you might want to find a reusable water bottle that you like that you can carry around with you. As a fitness instructor I went through many different kinds of water bottles before I found one that I loved. I don’t like to unscrew the top or drink from a straw. I find I drink the most water when I have a sports top to my water bottles. One that I can just squeeze into my mouth and know that I won’t spill even if I’m running. Try out a few and find what you like best. You’d be amazed at how much more water you’ll drink with a small change like this.
- Journal your progress.Take note your strong points and your weak points. You’ll start to notice patterns. For example, if you find yourself tired and thirsty in the afternoon, you’re probably dehydrated and you need to drink more water in the morning. Hydration can correct many little symptoms in your everyday life.
Water is such an important part of our make-up and it has so many benefits to our well being. You may find at first that drinking 2 litres of water every day is difficult, but start small and work up to it. You’ll find that even though you may be running to the bathroom more, you have more energy, less aches and less pains.
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