Without water, there would be no life. This is an unusual statement to start a fitness-related article, but it’s also self-evident. Without water, life as we know it would cease to exist. Drinking enough water is also fundamental for our health. After all, most of the human body is water — around 60% of it, to be more exact.
When we talk about a healthy lifestyle, we tend to overlook proper hydration. Water may not be the latest miracle shake, advertised by influencers and sold in shiny packages. In fact, its mundane nature works against it and makes us forget about the many benefits of staying properly hydrated. With summer here, we thought it would be a great opportunity to uncover the importance of hydration in fitness, talking particularly about its benefits and specifying just how much water you should be drinking.
Electrolytes, does this name ring a bell? They help you keep you go, even in adverse conditions. Water has plenty of essential electrolytes. You work out, and then your muscles need to heal. If you don’t drink enough water, your muscles weaken making you lose strength. However, if you keep your hydration optimal, you’ll feel energised, enhancing your performance.
Water should be your go-to drink if you want to keep grinding in the gym, particularly if you want to avoid injuries. All because water helps create synovial fluid — the fluid that runs in your joints and helps cushion the ends of bones. So make sure you are hydrated, to keep those joints lubricated and healthy.
It may look odd, but water can have an important role in the way you face adversities. Take, for instance, long-distance runners. Studies suggest that they slow their pace by 2% for each per cent of body weight they lose through dehydration. So, drinking an adequate amount of water improves your endurance and also your resilience to pain. Firstly because, as we’ve seen, water lubricates your joints; secondly, dehydration draws fluid out of your tissues, which causes overall body aches and pains, making demanding efforts like exercising tougher.
Your daily water intake may also help manage your weight. Studies show that drinking a large glass of water before a meal reduced the amount of food later consumed, this way helping those looking to lose weight. Participants revealed they feel less hungry, which is natural since drinking water helps promote satiation. So, if you need an extra helping hand to reduce or keep your weight, water is your go-to drink.
Blood is about 90% water, and it’s responsible for carrying nutrients and oxygen in your body. Water allows these valuable nutrients to travel to the blood and circulatory system, where they are distributed to all the body, cells and organs.
According to the British Dietetic Association (BDA), an adult men’s optimal water intake is 2000ml, whilst a women’s is 1600ml.
Now that you learned the importance of proper hydration in fitness and in your general health, time to fill your bottle with water. After all, it’s readily available, free, safe and great for you!