Water is the cornerstone of life. We can’t live too long without, and it’s the one thing we all think about during grueling workouts. But even with its heavy importance, many people find themselves suffering the effects of dehydration. The effects can range from muscle cramps, light-headedness, dizzy spells, hindered performance, and low energy. Something that is so simple really has a large influence on how we live, and perform, every single day. Water is to us as gasoline is to a car. Without it, we surely won’t be operating too efficiently to perform well. The rule of thumb for water intake per day is eight ounces of water, eight times a day, which equates to be about a half gallon. For active people, adding on another 24-36 ounces of water should be sufficient amount of hydration to help prepare your body for whatever the day holds.
The added benefits from proper hydration include: increased metabolizing of fat cells, increased GI functionality, leaner muscle tone (it won’t make you leaner, but the increased hydration also increases muscle contraction by carrying more oxygen to the muscle tissues), healthier skin, and more energy throughout the day (dehydration causes the body to fatigue faster). Also, sleep will become more restful, and your body will be able to regulate its body temperature better, making you feel more comfortable in any kind of weather.
If drinking the proper amount of water is difficult for you, don’t try and knock it all out in one sitting. A way that I found to be easiest is to carry a refillable water container (shaker bottle, for example), which gives you a measurement of how much it can hold, and to try and drink one every hour to hour and a half throughout my day. Once it becomes habit, drinking water will become so easy you’ll wonder how you’ve gone this long without drinking enough.
Remember, for our bodies to run properly, we need to give it the fuel to maintain normal body functions, along with delivering crucial components to recovering from workouts, sleeping, and digesting food. Half gallon of water is the minimum a normal person needs, so up that to ¾ gallon, and you’ll start seeing some positive changes.
By Erich Focht