How much water do you drink a day? One cup? Two cups max? Most do not consume near to enough water to allow their body to function properly. You don’t need to be a pro athlete or an everyday gym-goer to utilize all of the benefits that come with being adequately hydrated. The human body is primarily composed of water. Now go back to the first sentence, how can the body function if you consume water so scarcely? It leaches on to every bit of water that it can find, whether that be from soda, juice, fruit, and other foods you consume. The body has to work twice as hard to remain in equilibrium with itself. It manages to compensate, but it takes a toll on the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, digestive tract, and yes even muscles.
What dehydration does to the body.
Dehydration does quite a number on the body and none of it in our favor. The human body was created with a built-in cooling system, when we perspire a little of our body heat leaves us, thus keeping us at our regular temperature. With a lack of water, the heat cannot escape the body has difficulty keeping our constant temperature and we become prone to overheating, which leads to heat strokes.
With our body primarily composed of water, a great amount of that is found in our blood. When our body endures dehydration, the volume of blood we carry decreases, but our heart must continue to pump at the same rate in order for adequate circulation. In order for the heart to keep up, it must overexert itself to maintain equilibrium.
The skeletal muscle is primarily composed of water, now imagine if your body is already at low water levels. Do you think that the body is going to send the remaining water to the muscle you are currently working out just so you can have a good pump? Or will it keep it for the organs that keep your body alive?
How to drink more.
The most common question that arises when one hears the word “water”. “How much water should I be drinking?” The amount will vary from person to person, depending on how active, the size of the individual, and the environment. The typical Crossfit athlete who exercises twice a day in an 110-degree garage will consume much more than an employee who works in an office. How to discover what amount is needed is by realizing how much you already drink.
Think back to how much you drank yesterday,
..was it one bottle… or was it two… did I even finish the second bottle… where did I leave the second one?.. how much is in those bottles anyway?
Chances are if you don’t remember it’ll be even harder to keep track. Start with a 1 Liter bottle, it can be a plastic disposable one if you like but don’t use that same one too often. (Here is why) A BPA free 1 Liter blender bottle is what I use to track my water intake. Starting the day off with a full Liter will give you a great visualization in how much you actually drink a day. If you fall short of a Liter that day, set a goal for tomorrow to accomplish drinking the entire Liter. Take a mental note of how you feel when you hydrate adequately and when you don’t. Headaches appear less frequently, mental clarity increases, hunger decreases, mood enlightens, energy remains high, the list is endless.
Finished a Liter before the day was over? Refill the bottle completely and see exactly how much you drink at the end of the day. There will be days where you need more than others and vice-versa. There are days when I wake up earlier, exercise at the gym, and come close to 4 Liters of water. Weighing 185lbs, constantly on my feet, and vigorous exercise at the gym certainly help to consume that much. While on my slower, relaxed days, I drink around 2-3 Liters a day.
Start by tracking the amount of water you drink. Your body will do the rest in telling you when you’ve had enough, as long as you keep your mind open and make out the signs.
Stay hydrated my friends! -Eddie
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