Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
It’s been a long January for most of us. A long 31 days of not drinking alcohol, not smoking, not eating meat, not taking in anything with caffeine or sugar in it or an even longer month of taking the stairs at work, walking to the office, exercising 3 times a week or something silly like that. Most of you will have fallen off the wagon once or twice in the past month but to all of you still going strong, Well done!
I have met loads of people in the past month who have been full of New Years Resolutions such as the above and yet one of the easiest and cheapest changes to make they have not made. How many people do you know that said “As my New Year’s resolution I will drink more water”?
I bet ya it’s none and yet almost everybody’s water intake is much too low.
Water is the main constituent of the human body: it is normally about 60% of body weight in adult males, and is slightly lower, about 50-55%, in females due to their higher proportion of body fat. The muscles and the brain are about 75% water, the blood and the kidneys are about 81%, the liver is about 71%, the bones are about 22% and adipose tissue is about 20%.
There are several benefits to hydrating properly;
Your brain will perform better.
Drinking enough water means that the brain will be supplied with plenty of fresh-oxygenated blood. Studies have shown that even slight dehydration, 1-2%, will lead to a decrease in concentration. You know that big report you have to finish or that lecture you have to sit through? Well, it’s going to be completed faster and more accurately if you have another glass of water.
Better muscle and joint function.
As I stated above, 75% of your muscle is made up off water. If you’re dehydrated you will not perform at your best in the gym or in a competition. It also helps cushion the joints. This is massive especially if, like me, you are nearer 40 than 20. I like my joints and would like to stay strong and flexible into my fast approaching old age. If I’m dehydrated my joints will suffer which will lead to joint problems later on in life and I could really do without that.
You will have more energy.
Ever felt lethargic and thinking only a cup of tea or coffee can boost your energy systems? You might just have been dehydrated. I see this a lot in office workers who don’t have a water bottle on their desk. It’s not the shoddy coffee from the office canteen that sorts you out, it’s the water in the coffee. Pick up a bottle of water and you’ll be fine.
You can lose weight just because you drink more water.
Think about it, water is essential to all bodily functions INCLUDING metabolism. Say your BMR is 2000 calories a day. Even if your just 1% dehydrated your metabolism can drop by as much as 5%. This is due to the kidneys and liver not performing at 100% and if the liver is not metabolising fat as efficiently as it should, it stays stored.
This 5% equates means you’re not burning 100 calories that you could be, each day. That’s 3000 a month. We know that a pound of fat is approx 3500 calories so that’s almost an extra pound’s worth of calories you’re burning just by having that extra glass of water. This is not even taking into account that you will perform better at the gym when you drink enough water.
So how much water should you drink?
For optimal performance you should drink around 0.03 liters of water per Kg of body weight. So if you weight 100Kg you should drink 3liters of water, if you weight 50Kg 1.5liters of water will suffice. Obviously you will have to take into account any increased activity levels and environmental factors. If you’re exercising 4 times a week you will need more water. If you’re stuck in a sauna all day every day you will need more as well.
Now here’s a brilliant bit of news for all of you who think they’ll struggle drinking 3 liters of water each day. Everything with water in it will count towards your 3liter goal. If you drink 3.5 liters of tea or coffee each day you do not need to drink another 3 liters of water on top of that. You will be drinking enough to stay hydrated in that case. I am not saying drinking 3 liters of coffee each day is a good idea at all BTW as you will have other health issues that crop up but being dehydrated isn’t one of them.
One of the first things I usually end up telling people when they come to see me for dietary advice is “Drink more water”. It’s the easiest change to make and one of the most effective.
I hope you take it;