Did you know that our bodies are made up of A LOT of water?
The brain is composed of 95% water | Our blood is 82% water | The lungs are nearly 90% water
We can’t live without water; it’s the most critical nutrient you provide you body. So, if we can’t live without water, imagine how not enough water can affect your training and performance in the gym?! Think about the last time you went too long without water…How did you feel? Not drinking enough water of course causes thirst and dehydration, but it also can affect your brain function, your ability to focus and concentrate, can make you feel un-motivated, tired, and sluggish…all things that can prevent you from getting the most out of your training for the day or worse, prevent you from even making it into the gym at all…gasp!!
This time of year getting enough water can become a struggle, it’s cold, and it gets dark earlier and earlier, seeming to make days shorter. Here are some of my tricks to making sure I get enough water each day:
- Start each day of with a big glass of water (12-16oz)
- Have a water container to sip on at my desk throughout the day, this helps track your intake and keeps it right in front of you so you don’t forget
- Make sipping water before, during, and after your workout a habit. Drink 4-8oz before (or during) your warm up, another 4-8oz during your training, and 8oz directly after you have cooled down.
- Drink a glass of water after each meal (after is better than before in my experience, but if before works for you either is fine)
- Tired of the taste (or lack of taste) of your water? Try mixing it up with herbal tea, green tea, infuse some water with your favorite fruits or cucumber, or try carbonated water.
From James Fitzgerald of OPEX Fitness:
Water’s Role in Athletic Performance? “Although water doesn’t provide energy the same way fats or carbohydrates do, it is a vital platform for energy reactions and metabolic processes to take place. Without enough water intake pre (and post) workout, you easily become dehydrated, lethargic, cramp more often, and suffer in your work capacity, strength and endurance. Additionally, high quality H2O is necessary for muscle building, strengthening and endurance. Muscles are made primarily of water, and therefore, require water in order to be at their optimal peak. By consuming water, you not only help your body with easier delivery of nutrients and electrolytes to your cells and muscles, but you also inhibit improvements in the strength of your muscle’s contractions and muscle response time (think: fast twitch and quick bursts of power output, as well as muscular endurance to withstand multiple deadlift reps during an 8-minute ascending ladder). Lastly, water consumption helps waste and toxins from the muscles and body, meaning improved recovery.”
So how much should you drink? “Depending on your size and perspiration rate, you lose about four cups of water per hour of exercise. Additionally, you lose about four cups per day through respiration (most individuals) on any given day, and another 6 cups per day through elimination. Therefore, you need not only the ‘baseline’ minimum to replenish lost stores, but those extra ounces to make up for the extra-lost water during your training sessions.”
So that being said, everyone will be a little different, but a place to start is to aim for 1/2 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight. Again, everyone will be a little different, so listen to your body, your thirst, and your hunger signals. Hunger? You read that right, in fact, James says “often times a growling stomach or light headache in the afternoon doesn’t mean we need a power snack—but instead some water.”
Finally, quality does matter, just like organic grassfed beef is better than beef from McDonalds, so is filtered water versus tap water…and on that note, I am putting my money were my mouth is…
We have purchased you guys a new and fancy water filtering system for the gym, provided by http://www.taborwatersolutions.com…so drink up! Want more info about it, ask Kyle Tabor, you’ll find him moving big weight, usually in the evening classes!