Staying hydrated is one of the most important thing you can do while using the gym – in fact, not just the gym but everyday! I have written about hydration before but after speaking to members, it seems that hydration is still a subject that people seem to skirt around. They eat healthy and train very well but they still miss out on the basics…. Water!
Few facts on hydration
When we workout our body produces heat. For the best performance our body temperature needs to be kept within safe limits approximately 37/38°C. For our body to stay at this level we sweat. Sweating removes heat from the body by evaporation.
It’s so vital to keep replace replacing all the fluids lost during sweating to maintain hydration – otherwise we will become dehydrated and performance will suffer. Just a 2% drop in body weight through dehydration can reduce mental (i.e. concentration, reaction time) and physical performance.
- 67% of the body is water
- 75% of the brain is water
- 75% of muscles are water
- Blood is 83% Water
- Bone is 22% Water
Water has a major role in almost all bodily functions:
- Regulates body temperature
- Helps digestion
- Carries oxygen & nutrients to every cell
- Lubricates joints
- Takes toxins away from the body
Studies have shown that dieters frequently mistake thirst for hunger pangs. Dieters have found that having a glass of water reduces the hunger pangs and regularly drinking water helps to reduce food intake.
Dieting can cause the body to produce more waste products which in turn requires the body to need more water to remove it.
Tips for remaining hydrated
It’s all too easy to forget to drink water during the day, so here are a few tips:
- Make sure you drink enough water before, during and after high physical activity
- Always start your day with water. Have one or two glasses first thing in the morning. We tend to forget how much water we lose during the night.
- Having a glass of warm water mixed with freshly squeezed lemon can help the digestive system kick in and help get things moving in the morning!
- Don’t wait till you are thirsty to drink this is normally too late you are already dehydrated. Sometimes thirst is not a reliable measure of hydration because of medical or health conditions.
- Always have a bottle of water with you throughout the day at your desk, in the car, in your bag and drink at regular intervals through the day.
- An easy calculation to use is 0.0333 x bodyweight (kg) to get your water requirements in litres.
Jason, Fitness Manager