Water is the most abundant element on earth, and thankfully so because we can survive several weeks without food, but without water we can only survive a few days. Yet still many people don't actually drink enough water and can be dehydrated without even realising it. Our bodies when properly hydrated are roughly about 60% water, but we are constantly losing water when we sweat and also through our bodies metabolic processes such as breaking down food and maintaining body temperature. Some signs of dehydration may include:
- Dry Mouth/skin
- Trouble concentrating
- Infrequent urination
Drinking adequate amounts of water has been shown to reduce appetite and food cravings. Along with this a cold glass of water can actually stimulate your metabolism and speed up the fat burning process. Both of which are extremely beneficial when on a weight loss program.
Additionally, when we are trying to lose weight, our bodies break down fat through multiple chemical processes. After these processes have taken place, by-products or toxins can remain in our system and the fat burning process cannot continue until they are flushed out. Thus, it is vital that we consume enough water to ensure our bodies stay in a fat burning state.
Hydration can vastly affect your strength, power and endurance, all of which are of great importance when trying to build muscle. When building muscle, we have to rely on muscle contraction and generally heavy weight bearing exercises. When muscle contractions occur, it is through a process whereby electrolytes are dissolved in water in our bodies. If our bodies are not properly hydrated, we will not be able to uptake enough electrolytes to perform well in the gym. Which in turn will lead to a lack of strength gains and progressive overload, which is essential for muscle growth.
It is also a good idea to have a water bottle with you when performing weights to replace any water that you may lose during the session. This will ensure that you have enough energy to last the whole session and it will also aid recovery.
Sport or fitness Events
People who are involved in frequent sporting activities, fitness events or endurance exercises can lose a lot of water when physically exerting themselves. It is extremely important that we drink enough during and after these big sessions to match the amount of water we lose. To do this we should weigh ourselves before and after we exercise. For every kilogram lost in bodyweight we need to replace this with one litre of water to maintain healthy hydration levels and ensure proper recovery. Everyone is different so some people will lose a lot more water than others even if they have performed the exact same amount.
So, as you can see hydration is extremely important whether your goal is to lose body fat, build muscle or perform well in sporting events. To stay properly hydrated every person should aim to drink roughly 2 litres of water per day and an extra litre on top of that for every hour of exercise performed.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.