We humans are made up of 70% of the stuff, so it’s easy to see how a small drop in levels can effect your performance not only physically but also mentally. This fact makes staying hydrated equally important whether it’s inside the gym or out.
Most of us do not drink enough and the majority that we do get is through other calorie loaded beverages such as colas and coffees.
The average male needs around 12 glasses or 2 litres a day, while the average women needs a little less at around 9 glasses. Factors including the temperature, exercise, diet, supplementation, illness and alcohol consumption all increase the amount needed.
How do you know when you are dehydrated? Well there are a few tests, the easiest being looking at the colour of your urine, if it is dark in colour then you are dehydrated, you want to maintain a pale yellow colour. You can pinch the back of your hand, if the skin returns to it’s normal position quickly then you are fine, if not then you need water. Also back when I used to play football we used to be weighed before and after training and we weren’t allowed to go until we had drunk enough water for our weight to be the same. And finally when you feel thirsty.
If you wait until you feel thirsty then you are already slightly dehydrated so you should aim to never reach this point and I know most people wake up with a dry mouth so I personally find that drinking a pint of water before sleep and a pint again upon waking puts pay to this.
Around a 3% drop in water levels can reduce your performance levels by up to 95%, so whether in or out of the gym you can see why it so important to maintain your levels.
There are a lot of companies pushing their isotonic sports drinks to the public, but the reality is unless you perform an intense activity for more than an hour then you do not need them and if you are not training then all they’ll do is contribute to making you fat!
Also a plus of water is that it contributes to making you feel full, so therefore you’ll eat less thus helping you to lose weight or maintain you weight whatever it is you’re after.
So what are you still doing sitting there? That’s right go to the kitchen and pour yourself a glass!