Our bodies are made up of interconnected systems that all have one thing in common: they require a certain amount of water to function properly. Drinking water every day is an important component of a healthy approach to proper nutrition. To meet any fitness goal, adequate water intake needs to be your first nutrition priority.
How much? It depends…
The amount of water each of us needs each day depends on current body weight and exertion levels. Experts recommend drinking 0.5 – 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight daily. Obviously, water is lost through sweat and respiration when working out or when outside in the heat, so harder workouts and hot weather may require more water.
Listen to your body’s signals that indicate you need to hydrate, and remember that thirst is a late indicator of dehydration. Drink more water if you experience any of the following as you go through your day or your workout:
Dark-colored urine (the goal is a pale yellow color)
Inability to focus
Fatigue or light-headedness
Dry mouth or thirst
If you have several of these symptoms without exertion, of course, drinking water is a great first step. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist when you’re hydrated.
The benefits of water for overall performance, health
Optimal hydration levels allow all the body’s systems to maximize performance and progress during workouts. If you truly want to push yourself to build endurance and muscle, set your body up for success by fueling with great nutrition and plenty of water so all systems are in top form.
You’ll know your body is properly hydrated and fueled when you experience:
Improved mental clarity and brain function
Increased energy levels
Muscles staying strong and active during exercise
Regular bowel function
Properly cushioned joints
In addition to feeling better and getting more from workouts with less chance of injury, hydration keeps skin cells plump and can keep you looking younger, fighting the effects of aging. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day also helps with fat loss.
How do I drink more water?
The easiest way to incorporate more water into your nutrition planning is to start and end every day and every meal with 8 ounces of water. Replace a cup of coffee or a soda with water. If you don’t enjoy drinking plain water, try adding a squeeze of lime juice or a sprig of mint, or keep your day’s required water in a pitcher with a few pieces of fruit for a natural flavor infusion.
Learn more about your unique nutritional needs
Hydration is just one component of a healthy nutrition plan to support your fitness and health goals. Etage Athletic offers genetic testing packages to help you and your personal trainer better understand your body’s unique needs, allowing you to set nutrition and hydration goals that meet your body’s needs on a cellular level. GxNutrient test results provide the information you need to create a nutrition and micronutrient approach designed for your body’s fueling needs. Contact us today to develop a plan just for you!