You’re not drinking enough water. Don’t lie to me!

How much water are you drinking every day? If you’re looking for optimal health, especially if you’re working out and running…I can almost guarantee you’re not drinking enough unless you make a concentrated effort to do so.  Are you going all out in the gym and kickin’ your ass?  You should be consuming a gallon of water a day if you’re a dude, and close to 3/4ths of a gallon if you’re a girl.  If you’re not hitting the gym that hard, then less water is okay.  However, if you’re not hitting the gym hard or training hard during your workouts, you’re wasting your time punk!

The main thing is to not rely on your thirst-meter in your body to drink water, especially when working out.  Your brain will tell you that you’re thirsty long after your body actually needs it, so I find it’s helpful to just go get a few gulps at the water fountain or from my waterfall during each set.  Bring a water bottle with you to the gym so you don’t have to get up from the machine/bench every 30 seconds…and you’ll be more likely to drink more.

Your kidneys, the things a boxer tries to beat the crap out of during a match, exist to balance your body out with its fluid levels. When you work out and sweat, your body loses that fluid and needs to be put back in or else your muscles will suffer and your workout will suffer.  Because your body will often process that liquid before it’s able to put it back where it belongs, you need to drink MORE than normal after a workout.  Let’s talk about the best method to keep ahead of the game when you’re working out:

  • Two hours before you work out, drink between half a liter and a liter of liquid..any kind, anything other than booze.  Water is a great choice, because it’s free and plentiful.  Yay for water!
  • While working out, you need to get water into your system quickly so it can rapidly replace the water loss through sweat.  Start drinking it before you even feel thirsty.  In between each set, keep chugging.  6-8 Fluid ounces every 15 minutes.
  • After working out, you need to get your body ready for the next workout by getting the levels back to normal.  Because you’ve been chugging water, you probably need to piss like a race horse.  However, your fluid balances still aren’t back to normal, so you need to keep drinking.  If you can work some sodium into either your liquid or food intake after the workout, your body will retain water longer, giving it more time to absorb and use and regain balance.  You know what has sodium in it, Bobby Boucher? That’s right, GATORADE.  Ruh roh…
  • Drink water throughout the day.  Not only is it good for you, but it’s good to stay hydrated even if you aren’t working out that day.    Trying to lose weight?  Drink lots of water before you eat lunch and you might find your appetite curbed.  If you work in an office or from home, you already have a free abundant supply of the stuff, just keep a glass or bottle on your desk and fill it up every morning when you come in.  And who KNOWS what kind of gossip you’ll hear over by the water cooler while you’re there.  Did you hear that Billy slept with Gina’s sister?  Totally.

You can read my previous post, What the eff is an electrolyte? Is Gatorade really worth it?

-Steve

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  • Back in a food science course, I learned that your body loses between 1% and 2% of body weight in water before the thirst mechanism kicks in. And since 50% to 70% of body weight is water, that’s a lot of fluid lost before you know it!

    Good post.

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