As people who like to train on a consistent basis, we know that water intake is an important part of our training regimen. However, some people don’t realize just how crucial water actually is to our training. Water contains several benefits for us, both physically and mentally. Considering our bodies are made up of about 60% water, there is almost always a constant need for water in our body. The key is knowing the appropriate amount of water we need to be consuming. Are we supposed to consume the classic eight 8 ounces a day, or does this number vary based on us as an individual?
The first step to ensuring that our body has the proper amount of water, is knowing how to calculate exactly how much water we need. Most of us have heard the overused phrase of “drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day”. Yet, that number might not actually be accurate for most of us. The recommendation is to drink half an ounce to an ounce of water for every pound you weigh. So if you weigh 150 pounds you should be drinking anywhere between 75-150 ounces of water a day.
Making sure that we consume the recommended amount of water each day is crucial in ensuring we are helping to keep our body running at 100%. As mentioned earlier, our body is made up of about 60% of water, but that water is dispersed throughout several parts of the body. Our brain and heart are composed of 73% of water, our lungs about 83%, our skin contains 64%, our muscles and kidneys are 79%, and our bones are even 31% water. This helps emphasize just how much our bodies need water. Our bodies also need the recommended amount of water so it can perform the four main functions which include: regulating body temperature, lubrication and cushioning of our joints, protection of our spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and helping us get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.
Not only will not consuming enough water negatively impact our organs and other parts of our body, but it will also hinder our athletic ability. Even an amount as little as 2% dehydration can begin to impair our ability to function at maximum capacity. It causes our bodies to slow down the process of metabolizing glycogen, which is what our bodies use to fuel themselves. In addition to that, our core body temperature will also begin to slowly rise. This in turn leads to a rise in heart rate due to our bodies having to work harder to try and cool itself.
As we can see, not getting enough water can hinder our performance capabilities, yet getting enough water helps us out in many aspects. The first benefit that we can see from drinking enough water is enhanced mobility. Drinking enough water helps us maintain healthy cartilage and synovial fluid. This helps allow for proper cushioning and movement of our joints. Another benefit that we will see from drinking water is weight control. Drinking water will help keep us feeling full for longer periods of time. A study even found that individuals who consumed two cups of water right before eating a meal on average ate 75-90 less calories per meal. Headache prevention is another benefit that we will see from drinking enough water. Finally, we can see an increase in our overall mood from drinking enough water. This was found in a study that was conducted on college athletes that showed that those who were more hydrated were less susceptible to irritability and bad moods.
Drinking a lot of water is one of those things that we all know we should do, yet it’s something we tend to throw on the backburner of priorities. However, drinking water should be one of the things that we make a priority each day, especially during the colder months. Once it gets colder we don’t think to drink as much water as we did when it was warmer outside. Not only will drinking water help our bodies function properly, but it will also help us feel better overall.
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