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Give Me More Water

Water constitutes up to seventy percent of the human body. On average, an individual should consume approximately 96 ounces of water per day; that’s three quarts! An individual participating in a fat-loss program should drink an extra eight ounces for every twenty-five pounds carried above their ideal body weight. Water is a key player in any fat-loss program for the following reasons:

  • Liver functions improve, increasing the percentage of fat used for energy
  • Appetite decreases significantly, thus decreasing eating whole foods containing higher levels of fat
  • Metabolic functions improve helping the body’s ability to breakdown and digest foods instead of adding unnecessary fats to the body’s existing fat stores
  • Body-temperature regulation improves (aiding in metabolic function)

The body cannot adapt to dehydration. A fluid loss of merely two percent of body weight will adversely affect performance levels. Dehydration impairs every physiological function in the human body. If the body’s normal, necessary physiological functions are impaired; the body cannot breakdown fat resulting in overall fat loss. Your body will also under-perform in the gym, and post-workout recovery will have a major disadvantage.

It is especially important for athletes to maintain hydration through water consumption. It is essential that you stay hydrated if you want to build muscle and experience optimal performance in the gym.

Some tips for athletes to keep in mind regarding water are as follows:

  • Water is needed to transport nutrients to your cells and transporting waste out of the body. Water helps form the structures of protein and glycogen, thus helping produce energy for your bout at the gym or athletic endeavor.
  • Water helps with muscle tone. Muscles are made of mostly water. Dehydration can impair proper muscle contraction, thus negatively effecting muscle tone.
  • If your body is dehydrated, your muscles will be deprived of electrolytes and cramp. Since muscles are controlled by nerves, without the proper water and electrolyte balance muscle strength and control will also be impaired. This will cause delayed or inappropriate muscle response.
  • Consume16 oz of fluid 2 hours before exercise. If exercising in warmer weather, it may be necessary to drink an extra 8-16oz.
  • Drink 20 to 40 oz of fluid for every hour of exercise.
  • Cold fluids are more desirable than warm fluids, as cold fluids empty from the stomach faster.
  • The goal of water intake is to replace sweat and urine loss. Consume 20oz of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercising, especially when participating in a twice-a-day training program where rapid rehydration is necessary.
  • An especially simple way to add water into your workout routine is to use water as your medium when preparing pre and post-workout supplements.

Water serves many functions in the body from aiding the loss of fat to distributing vital nutrients and minerals to keep the body’s systems functioning efficiently. It is incredibly important to drink adequate volumes of water and keep the body hydrated to maximize your time at the gym and maintain optimum health. Make it a point to drink water every day!