As summer and warmer weather is starting to approach (hopefully), I think it more important to emphasize the importance of staying properly hydrated. Don’t get me wrong, it should be a priority to you anyways. (no, drinking beer and wine is not considered hydrating) Our bodies are about 60-70% water and depend on water to function properly. Blood is mostly water; your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Water regulates body temperature and also provides a pathway for nutrients to travel to your organs. It also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste and protects your joints and organs.
The key to having a healthy body and being a successful athlete begins with what you eat. Water must be consumed before, during long periods and after exercise. Even if you have 1% dehydration that can equal a 10% miss in performance. Our bodies can survive 4x longer on water than they can on food.
So how much water should you be drinking? A good rule of thumb is to consume about half of your body weight, in ounces of water per day, and for every hour of exercise add 16-20oz. This is a recommendation for working out in a temperature of about 72 degree weather. If you are working out in 80-90 degree heat, you can easily add 35 ounces additional per hour. I like to think of water in your body like oil in your car engine….would you run your car low on oil? Then why do that to your body?
I can see it in myself on the days that I am hydrated properly and the days I am not. I feel like garbage on the days that I am not. By the time you are thirsty, and especially if you are working out, it’s too late to grab that water bottle. That water isn’t going to help you. Don’t let hydration have a negative impact on your workout. I realize that it may be difficult to drink enough water on a busy day, so prepare yourself for success not failure. I have a 16oz water bottle with me, and I fill it up about once every hour, throughout the day. Be sure you have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle of water with you when you are working, traveling, or exercising. Stay hydrated!