by Tracey Mallett
Most of us have heard the saying, “drink 8 glasses of water a day”, but why is this the magic number? Well, water affects many things in life, not just your workout, but also your skin, your organ health and even your mood. Let’s break down each of these categories and get some much-needed answers about water.
Why 8 glasses a day or 64 ounces? Some sources say you should drink about an ounce of water for every two (2) pounds you weigh. So why 64 ounces, wouldn’t that mean everyone would need to weigh 128 pounds? Yes, your math is correct but many people forget there is water in some foods we eat, including vegetables, fruits and soups to name a few. We also forget that you should drink 64 ounces of water a day, BUT if you workout you should consume about 16 ounces for every hour you workout. Of course, this varies depending on how strenuous the workout and the amount of water you have consumed before, as well as, how much fluid you loose (sweat) during exercise. The easiest way to measure how much you sweat is to weigh yourself before and after you workout and subtract the amounts. If you weigh the same amount, you consumed enough water during and before your workout. If you lost weight you need to drink more water. A pound equals 16 ounces, so loosing 5 pounds during a workout means you need to replace 80 ounces of water on top of your normal 64 ounces per day. You may not have thought about the numbers when drinking your water, but every little bit helps.
What does water consumption do to my workout? It helps your workout in many ways. In fact, just missing a few ounces of water can result in a 20-30% drop in physical performance. Your blood is about 90% water. When you do not consume enough water your blood becomes sludgy and thick, this means that your heart has to work harder to pump it through your body. This can lead to exhaustion happening a lot sooner, as well as a lack of oxygen to the brain, since blood is what carries oxygen to our brains. We all know that a lack of oxygen to our brains can affect our thinking as well as the signals we send to our muscles and nerves. Muscles are made up of 70% water, so the more muscle the body has the more water you need!
How does water consumption affect my body? When you begin to loose body fat, you will gain water volume. This means that the less body fat you have, the more water your body will contain. If your body contains more water, you then have to maintain that water level by drinking the appropriate amount. You will also notice that the more water you drink the less hungry you are. Since the body signals hunger and thirst in the same way, some people confuse hunger for thirst. Try drinking a glass of water when you think you are hungry then wait 15 minutes, if you are still hungry, that is a good sign that your hunger trigger was working, but it never hurts to get that extra water in. Water also aids in digestion, if you skimp on water you may not be digesting your food properly which could lead to less weight loss.
How about my skin? Water helps to make your skin radiant and glowing. Water removes the toxins from the body. It can also act as a natural purifier, helping to rid your body of waste. Of course, water also helps to keep skin moisturized from the inside out.
I could go on and on about the benefits of water. For most people just achieving the recommended amount of 64 ounces a day is a task in its self. Start today and you will notice the wonderful changes in your energy and body in no time!
by Tracey Mallett