The Importance of Drinking Water
What is hydration
Interestingly enough, the entire body needs water. Every cell, tissue, and organ within your body requires water in some form or fashion. Humans are about 60-70% water, and without it, you run into some trouble. This is where hydration comes into play. Hydration literally means, the process of causing something to absorb water.
As we drink water or consume fluids, we are allowing the body to absorb this water. Yet, if we don’t provide the water, we can’t absorb it. In turn, we actually end up dehydrated which can bring about its own issues.
Now, we don’t only get hydrated from the water we drink. You have to consider that other things in the world are made of water as well. This includes some of the foods we eat and the other beverages we may have. Meaning, we can also add to the process of hydration, based on our total intake.
The benefits of water
Hydration is the process, but what are the actual benefits of drinking more water. Often times, the first thing you’re told to do when looking to lose weight or get healthy is what? Drink more water! This is because there are a host of benefits that come along with it.
For starters, you may find yourself catching a ton of cramps. So much so, that you avoid the gym. This isn’t the workout’s fault. In reality, you’re just dehydrated and it’s causing your muscles to cramp up. This can easily be solved by upping your water intake from where you currently are. For example, I consume about 1 gallon of water a day to keep cramps away and stay healthy.
Water keeps us hydrated, which allows us to function properly. Many of the important organs and tissues in the body are primarily water. The brain is a great example. When we don’t drink enough water, the brain works at a lower capacity. This could cause us headaches, brain fog, and even a lack of focus. It’s important that you consume a good amount of water so that you can operate at your highest level. Plus, you just feel better!
Better skin is another huge win for more water intake. Our skin is actually primarily water as well! Meaning, that it can’t do its thing properly without the right amount of water. You can literally improve your skin from the inside out by drinking more fluids. So, if you’ve tried every cream and solution on the market with no help, your next stop may be increasing your total water intake.
If you ever feel that you can’t regulate your temperature properly, then you may be dehydrated. We get warm as we move about and do tasks. If we don’t have a way of cooling ourselves off, we can literally overheat. This is where being hydrated comes into play. The water and other fluids help to cool the body down naturally. This ensures that we stay in a healthy range for body temperature.
Lastly, it helps your cardiovascular health. Water plays a role in the viscosity and thickness of your blood. Without it, you may see an increase in blood pressure due to a thicker level of blood. Only when you’re properly hydrated will you be able regulate that natural balance in the blood.
Staying hydrated during a workout
How many of you take water bottles to the gym? How many of you actually drink that water? Not many. We often miss the ball on intra-workout hydration. This is an important time as we are losing a ton of the fluids that we’ve been holding onto through our sweat. And what is lost, must be replaced. Instead of waiting to refill later on in the day, you can start at that moment. Personally, I drink about ¾ of a gallon during my workout. It helps to replace what I’m losing and keep my in optimal hydration.
If you don’t want to drink plain water during your workouts, you can always add in some BCAA’s. These are just a branched chain amino acid that will help to flavor your water, but also provide a little added recovery.
Like I stated earlier, there is more than just water. You can get hydrated from other things as well. This is also true due to the fact that you need more than just water to stay hydrated. You need electrolytes to help you retain that water and run many other functions in the body.
This often comes in the form of something like a Gatorade/Powerade. Now, the normal options for these come loaded with sugar, so make sure to be using the ZERO versions. You can also consume flavored or sparkling water. These just have some natural flavors and carbonation that may make the experience a little more fun for you. It all goes into your hydration regardless. So long as the majority of your intake is natural water, you are good to go.
Now how much should you drink?
You may still be wondering how much is right for you. Well, As stated earlier, I consume about a gallon a day – at least! This is a good goal to shoot for but start small. Start where you feel comfortable and build your way up.
If you’re someone who sweats a ton or you live in a hot climate, you may actually need more water than others. This is just because you’re constantly going to be losing fluids as you sweat. All you need to do is bump up that water intake and you’ll be good to go!
Water is crucial to our lives. We’re primarily made of it, and we need to make sure we’re properly hydrating. This can be done by upping your total water intake and even brining in some other fluids as well. Water comes from what we drink but can also come from some foods!
Make sure that you’re replacing what you lose during and after your workouts or any type of physical activity. You’ll function at your highest capacity if you’re making sure to stay on top of it.