Staying healthy and fit requires changing the whole lifestyle and daily habits. So, we have to stick to clean diet, regular exercises, 8 hours sleep at night and other small steps. We are taught that exercising has the major part in this personal transformation. Moreover, the daily diet is standing equally important also. Because these fields are well covered in our website, and also on the worldwide web, today I would like to talk about the importance of staying hydrated.
Benefits of staying hydrated
During the last couple of years, I was reading and learning a lot about the basics of fitness exercises. Moreover, I was reading about the right form, proper diets for pre and post training and nutrition.
I have never found exact information for the water’s importance during the training. Moreover, there was no explaining why, when and how much we should drink water. Maybe I wasn’t searching well. Anyway, the right answers came to me when my friend recommended me the 3 week diet plan. A diet that I have tried and got great results in terms of weight loss.
First things first – some facts about the importance of water
Almost 70% of our body is based on pure water. This is essential for every chemical reaction that happens in the body. We need about two-three liters of water a day just to transport the nutrients, flush the waste of toxins and support our brain concentration.
Loosing of water, along with body salts, happens mainly through urine and sweat. During intensive trainings, the body loses water trough sweat more than trough urine. The water loss of 1 up to 2% of the total body weight, can decrease our physical performances by 20%!
The importance of staying hydrated
I bet you didn’t knew this – dehydration can happen when we lose just 3% water of our total body weight. As unbelievable as it sounds, that’s a proven fact, one you need to remember.
I would like to mention some of the most common dehydration myths. The ones often causing people to drink too much water, which is as bad as leaving yourself without it.
- If you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated. This is not true and you should always remember that the best measure of how much water you need to drink is your feel of thirst.
- Dark urine means that you have already dehydrated. Also a myth, because there are many factors that determine the color i.e. contrast of the urine.
- Caffeinated drinks lead to faster dehydration. Also another myth, especially not applying to people who are used to caffeine. If you are one of them, if you drink coffee and tea often, know that they are helping you stay hydrated and you should count them toward your daily fluid intake.
- Food doesn’t count. Again another myth. Foods that are high in moisture, like soups, fruits and vegetables, can definitely help you stay hydrated and should be counted towards your daily fluid intake.
Why we need to stay hydrated?
Not every workout is the same
You must also know that not every workout is the same in terms of water required to complete the workout successfully.
Short workouts like 20-30 minute run or weight training, don’t require water. You can drink 1 or 2 glasses at the end of the workout, but there is absolutely no need to drink while you are working out. This, of course, is under assumption that you don’t begin your workout dehydrated or working out in very hot conditions.
Longer workouts like 10 mile run or 1 hour intensive weightlifting require more water. If you are practicing this kind of workouts, then you should consume one glass of water every 20 minutes or so, to stay hydrated.
As a conclusion we can note that there is no magic formula that tells us how much water we should drink daily. We just need to listen to our body and have in mind the conditions around us. The hotter the weather, the longer the exercise, the more water we need. We must be aware that too much water is as bad as, even worse as too little water, especially when we are on an intense training program.
One routine that I like to practice is.
30 minutes before training – 1 glass of water. If I drink more usually I get full stomach of water and a lazy and ineffective training.
During long and intensive weightlifting training in the gym – 2-3 glasses of water, which is split into approximately half glass every 15 minutes.
Water intake after training – up to 2 glasses. If I drink more, I end up with bad digestion of the post-workout meal. This meal is the most important meal for everyone who is on a rigid training plain.