The thirst is real my friends. Dehydration levels are off the charts.
Day after day, working with client after client, I can’t stress enough how important it is to hydrate adequately. I would say 90% of people I work with do not drink enough of water on a daily basis. The average person needs about 0.6oz (18mL) of water per pound of bodyweight per day without factoring in physical activity and compensating for diuretics like coffee, tea and alcohol.
For a person weighing 175lbs that means you need to consume 105oz of water or 3.1 Litres.
Now you may not think this is a big deal – but dehydration can signicantly hamper your results in the gym whether your training to get lean or wanting to post up with some new PRs.
Proper hydration is the first issue I address with any of my clients who are looking to lose weight. Water places a highly important role in metabolizing. Without sufficient water intake you can actually reduce the rate at which you lose fat. On top of that, when in a state of dehydration your body will often mistake thirst for hunger and will cause you to eat despite not actually being hungry.
Your overall water intake will also affect the overall health and efficacy of your digestive system.
If you’re an athlete training for performance or even competing it’s also important to understand that dehydration can affect you. Being under hydrated leads to decreased blood volume, decreased circulation, decreased sweating, increased core temperature and and overall decreased cooling rate of body temperature…meaning it will be a lot harder for you to perform as an athlete.
It’s also not uncommon to experience muscle fatigue, cramping, and decrease strength while being in a dehydrated state. As muscles cannot contract as strongly or efficiently when you are dehydrated this will add to an even larger decrease in performance.
However, before you start crushing intraworkout Gatorades – I suggest you look at your overall water consumption throughout the day. That’s generally where most people drop the ball and can improve quite quickly.
Hydration also plays a key role in energy and cognitive function. Most people who are dehydrated will feel “foggy” mentally, lethargic, and be unable to concentrate properly. As you can see this also very important outside of the gym as most people have jobs that require them be functioning and fulfilling specific task that require some degree of critical thinking.
It isn’t appropriate to be showing up for work, training, and life in general in a state of fatigue where you can’t function properly.
Hydration is Fun
So you want to get leaner, you want to perform at a higher level, and you want to feel better overall and you now understand how important hydration is for that…but you’re wondering how to successfully implement it. What works well for many is setting a behavioral goal.
Visually seeing how much water you are or aren’t taking in each day can be quite impacting. I recommend having three (or more) water bottles or shakers cups (one for home, one for work, and one to keep on you in between) filled with your suggested water intake – and drinking those throughout the day.
Having them ready to go gives you little room for failure in terms of your meeting hydration needs. It’s very straightforward – so if you’re water intake needs to be 3L per day, have three 1L containers filled and ready to go – if you spread them out and drank them throughout the day, you’re doing great. If you didn’t finish them as planned – dump the extra water and start again tomorrow.
PRO-TIP: It’s important to not compensate for lack of water consumption throughout the day by chugging down a bunch all at once – as the water will bypass everything and go straight to your bladder for excretion – which defeats the purpose of drinking water to hydrate your body.
Did you find this helpful? Do you have any questions or feedback?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section or feel free to contact me by e-mail.