Everyone knows that water is necessary for life. But many of us don’t heed the advice and don’t drink enough water. The daily recommended intake is 64 oz, or 8×8 oz. glasses per day. There are many benefits to drinking enough water, including avoiding dehydration, which affects energy and mood; feeling full so ingesting less calories; younger looking skin because skin needs the moisture; health issues such as relieving constipation, avoiding kidney stones and flushing toxins from the body; the list goes on. But it is even more important during exercise.
The American College of Sports Medicine issues guidelines that state that recommend at least 17 oz. of fluid two hours before exercise. Then during exercise, people should continue to drink at regular intervals to replace fluids lost through sweat. Athletes can lose up to 6-10% of their water via sweat. This is not surprising, considering that muscle is about 80% water.
Water also helps to energize muscles. If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer. The balance of fluids and electrolytes are important for cells so that muscles don’t get fatigued too quickly. Dehydration can lead to reduced motivation and can make exercise feel much harder.
It is also important to replenish fluids after exercise. Be sure to continue to drink water all day, and have a big glass before bedtime. It will help you sleep (as long as your bladder cooperates.)
Some people tell me they hate water. Some tips for drinking more: Try drinking it through a straw. Add lemon. Drink from a sports bottle instead of a glass. Add some sugar free flavoring (natural if you can find it). Add ice. You can also get water from sources such as coffee, tea, and even food. Here is a list of food that will benefit your water intake:
FRUIT/VEGETABLE OUNCES OF WATER
1 watermelon wedge 10 oz.
1 medium peach 5 oz.
1 cup sliced strawberries 5 oz.
1 cup sliced cucumber 4 oz.
1 medium tomato 4 oz.
1 cup chopped raw zucchini 4 oz.
1 ear cooked corn on the cob 3 oz.
Water is so important – it is necessary for survival and will help you to perform at your absolute best! So drink up and enjoy!