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Water- We Know We Need It But Do We Know Why?

By Lauren Thomas

We all know that hydration is essential for an individual's overall health. It has been proven that drinking water can lead to great skin, increased exercise performance, lubricates your joints and most importantly will keep systems in your body running to rid the body of toxins leading to many overall health benefits.

Even with the listed benefits of drinking water and staying hydrated,some may often wonder why it is so important to stay hydrated throughout the day and not just during a workout. The body gets rid of water naturally through urination, but also through sweat causing a small amount of dehydration if not properly hydrated. So, without you truly knowing, your body is losing water all day long. Also, research has shown that just 60 minutes of exercise, may cause an individual to lose about 1 liter of water! If you wait until your 60 minutes of exercise to drink water because you are now feeling thirsty, your body is already lacking and partially dehydrated.

With being dehydrated or not getting enough water, comes a hindrance on your performance at the gym. For example, being dehydrated can cause your body to have a harder time regulating your body temperature which then causes your heart rate to spike up. When your heart rate increases, your body goes into an overdrive mode because your heart is having to work harder to pump blood throughout your body causing you to become more fatigued while exercising. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day can help regulate all of those body functions that will in return help your body function at its optimal level.

So, how does one know how much that they should be drinking to then function at an “optimal level”? According to Trifecta Nutrition, it is recommended to drink about a half to two-thirds of your body weight in ounces of water. For example, an adult that weighs 155 pounds should be drinking about 77.5 - 100 ounces of water throughout the day. However, you should always take into consideration the temperature outside and the amount of physical activity you will be performing. Meaning, if it’s a hotter day or you’re going to be trying out a competition, you may want to get a couple more ounces than normal in order to ensure and maintain proper hydration.

While hydration is very important, there is a misconception that drinking a gallon of water a day will truly help you peak in all areas. However, this may not be the case for everyone. Overhydration is also a concern which can lead to other complications mostly at the intracellular level then causing overall health difficulties. It is very important to monitor your body’s signs that it may be giving you throughout the day to ensure you are properly hydrating yourself.

Here are some signs to look for for both dehydration and overhydration:

  1. The color of your urine being dark or clear, respectively.

  2. Low amount of bathroom trips or too many bathroom trips.

  3. Nausea or stomach cramping.

  4. Throbbing headaches throughout the day.

Remember we are all different, so work to find the optimal level for you and your fitness goals.

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