New Year … New Resolutions … Right?
Top of the list is often to get fit, healthy and go to the gym…
All great intentions…
But while you’re sweating in your new active wear, trying to follow the super-fit instructor’s cues, the last thing on your mind is, “Am I drinking enough water?” But with an increased exercise regime, it’s really important to up your water intake.
And even better if it’s fresh, filtered water. You can tick the ‘healthy’ box right there with that one!
Well… the minute you work up a sweat, (which is your body’s way of regulating your internal body temperature), you begin to lose water through perspiration. Considering that your body is made up of approximately 70% water, it’s super important to replace it.
You see, your body needs enough water for all sorts of functions like – to transport oxygen and glucose, to protect and cushion vital organs and to aid the digestive system.
When you exercise, your muscles need water for strength and flexibility and your joints need water to prevent stiffness. In fact, every cell in your body needs water to function properly and without it you wouldn’t survive more than three or four days.
When you exercise, it’s also important to watch out for signs of dehydration where you might experience effects like loss of coordination, muscle fatigue and cramps. This can affect your performance but more importantly could lead to something more serious.
By the time you feel thirsty, your body has already lost approximately 1 percent of your body’s water and you are on your way to dehydration. So if you want to have enough energy for your workout, you need water … and lots of it.
The amount of water really depends on your size, weight, the type of workout you are doing and of course the climate! If you’re doing a HIIT training session at the beach on a 30-degree day you’re going to require more water than a Pilates session in an air-conditioned studio! But the University of Michigan (2011) has set out some guidelines.
Before – They suggest that before you exercise, you need to drink approximately 500-600 mls of water. That’s nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake. And you should do this at least 2 hours before exercising. For early risers, it’s a good idea to get into a healthy water habit and drink a glass of water with half a lemon squeezed in it when you wake up. This helps to get your digestion system going.
During – While exercising, try to drink 200-300 mls for every 10-20 minutes of exercise.
After – The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that you cool down after a workout with approximately 230 mls of water and to drink that within at least 30 minutes after your workout.
It’s important to recognise the signs of dehydration and if you experience muscle cramps or nausea during your workout, stop and have a glass of water. Don’t ignore these signs as they could lead to more serious complications.
You’ll actually achieve a better workout
The chances are that yes, you will … And the reason for this? Although water keeps you hydrated during your workout … it also acts as a lubricant for your muscles, joints and organs
It’s a known fact that dehydration leads to fatigue. So it’s simple – stay hydrated and you’ll have more energy and feel more awake for your morning gym session.
Drinking water helps you lose weight
Really? Well, it’s true that water fills you up and helps you feel full so you don’t reach for that mid-morning snack. Sometimes people confuse the feeling of thirst with hunger and eat more when they should be drinking water. Being just 1 percent dehydrated can slow down your metabolism and interfere with weight loss. So if you are trying to target a healthy weight for the new year then drinking enough filtered water is the perfect complement to your new exercise regime.
Invest in a good reusable water bottle …
Not just a pretty colour or the latest design but one with measurements so you can make sure you’re drinking enough water at the right time.
Swap sports drinks and juice for filtered water…
Choose filtered water over a sports drink or juice. These drinks often contain too much sugar which can cause problems for your body…but we won’t go into that now! Filtered water is cheaper too … so that’s more money in your pocket for trying new fitness workouts … Boxilates or Booty Barre anyone?
Set a timer on your phone
You’ll never forget to drink enough water if your phone beeps or vibrates to remind you!
Invest in a good water filter system for your home
Fill your reusable water bottles with fresh filtered water from your own home water filtration system. Take them with you for better tasting, healthy, fresh filtered water. You’ll also have filtered water available on tap for those early morning “at home” workouts and when you return home to “cool down” after your daily run.
Whatever your fitness and health goals for the new year, keep these tips in mind and stay hydrated while you workout and you’ll be on your way to a whole new, healthy, hydrated YOU!
Read more on the health benefits of filtered water