I guess you could say we have a ‘hot’ topic on our hands with the weather warming up!
Extremely good timing as you begin to exercise in the summer heat and increase your sweat loads.
Dehydration is often talked about at the beginning of summer, with a focus on the elderly, children and babies as the heat increases. The reality is that dehydration can affect all of us, especially those of you who exercise here with us regularly.
So, how much water should you be drinking?
Queensland health provides a general recommendation of 2.6L per day for men and 2.1L per day for women.
Our independent advice suggests that while this general recommendation is great to aim for, you can break it down even further to your individual body – we’re not all the same and some of us require more water than others.
Our recommendation for all members, regardless of gender, is to drink a minimum of 32ml per body weight kg, per day. So for example as a 60KG human, you should be drinking a minimum of 1.92L of water each day.
In saying this, if you exercise, you’ll need to increase that figure, but don’t exceed 64ml per body weight kg, per day for the average person, without seeking independent professional advice.
But why you ask – Why do I need to drink so much water? I don’t regularly drink that much and nothing seems to be wrong with me!?
Most people don’t realise the importance of drinking enough water, and the ongoing effect is has on their health – this extends to eating habits and consequently weight loss.
Recent studies continue to note the importance of hydration, and go so far as to indicate that well hydrated bodies can help dieters lose an extra few kilograms, and maintain that weight loss. Water speeds up our metabolic rate and can help prevent overeating!
Many of us complain of headaches, feeling tired, poor performance in the gym, not sleeping well, bad skin, and when you dig a little deeper it’s common that most people with these types of issues do not drink anywhere near enough water. Here at Elite I’ve noticed a number of people, and even younger athletes turning up to the facility without water, so I’ve purchased a small fridge, filled it with water and given you all access for $1 a bottle – possibly he cheapest bottle of water you’ll be able to buy in Brisbane! Our bodies are made up of 60% water, so it’s hugely important to stay hydrated so our bodies function.
Water is needed for good health and strong performance in the gym or when training anywhere. We lose water during the day, not only from going to the bathroom but from sweating and breathing – when it’s hot you lose water faster and more so again when physically active.
You shouldn’t be waiting for your body to tell you it’s dehydrated, but if you see some of these signs then you need to get under the tap:
- Dry Mouth
- Poor Sleep
- Poor Performance
- Lack of concentration
- Bad skin
- Dark Urine
Suffer from muscle cramps, dizziness or fatigue after exercise?
In 60 minutes of exercise you can lose more than ¼ of your bodies water store. This in turn leads to muscle fatigue, loss of coordination and muscle cramping. It’s important that you drink before, during and after a workout.
Lean muscle tissue is ~75% water, so when you have short stocked your body on water, you will fatigue very quickly. Dehydration leading to a decline in performance, strength, power, aerobic and anaerobic capacity – essentially everything you’ll undertake in our various classes here at Elite. In addition, dehydration leads to your heart working harder as it pushes blood which lacks in water content around your body
Essentially, if you want to look, feel, and train better – start drinking! How much have you had to drink while reading this article? If the answer is nothing, take a quick drink break now.
A few TIPS:
- Drink water with every meal. Make sure you place a jug of water on the table, or buy a bottle with your lunch time meal deal!
- Get into good habits and drink a glass of water before bed and first thing in the morning
- Carry a bottle of water with you during the day
- Do you know how much you are drinking? Get an app or just a water bottle with the amount of water you should be drinking. Set yourself goals
- If you are eating out, make sure you have a glass of water with every course
- Drink water before, during and after exercise
- Feeling hungry – try drinking a glass of water and waiting 15 minutes. Our bodies can confuse thirst with hunger
Finally, a note on sports drinks (Powerade, Gatorade etc). Unless you’re exercising continuously for 90 minutes or more, you’re highly unlikely to need the benefits that these drink provide – the drinks aren’t all good and in many cases consuming these are of less benefit to you fitness / weight loss goals then the exercise you’re completing. If you’re dehydrated, a sports drink will not assist despite the advertising of major drink companies – your best option is a big glass of old faithful (water).