Water – The facts and the application.
Whether your goal is to lose bodyfat, improve your strength, to enhance performance, or to help off set some of the signs of the aging process, drinking sufficient water on a daily basis should be an essential part of your daily routine. You can dial in your nutrition and training but without sufficient water, your gains and progress will be limited.
Water constitutes two thirds of your total body weight and is the single most important nutrient we require, without it you wouldn’t survive more than a few days! In a survival situation, water is more important than nutrition,as all of your cells and organs require water to function efficiently and effectively on a daily basis. We obviously obtain water by drinking it directly but also from our food.
The human body will lose water through perspiration, respiration and urination so keeping a regular intake is essential for optimal performance, especially when exercising regularly. Studies have shown that dehydration reflected in a 1-2% reduction in body weight can reduce our ability to concentrate, our cognitive and physical performance, and increase feelings of aggression or irritation – water rage!
As a general rule an active person who is training consistently should aim to consume 1 litre of water per 25 kg of total body weight.
Therefore a 65 kg person should drink: 2.6 litres per day (65 divided by 25).
Remember that this amount should be drank throughout the day in regular intervals; the average standard water bottle is 500ml, so using the above example this would equate to be just over 5 bottles per day.
Also remember that fizzy drinks/sports drinks/and tea/coffee shouldn’t be included in the above total!
-Take a water bottle or shaker with you to work and fill it up at regular stages throughout your day. If you spend prolonged time travelling through work/business, always have your water on hand in your car.
-For every cup of coffee you order/drink get into the habit of ordering/drinking a glass of water to supplement the coffee. From personal experience, very often the water is forgotten about and you may have to make a polite reminder! I feel this is not only a reflection on the obvious importance of the hot drinks, the fact it’s a ‘coffee’ shop, and that water doesn’t run a cost (unless bottled), but also that the average person doesn’t consume sufficient water and probably doesn’t order water regularly therefore it is not a habit formed by the serving staff. On another personal level I feel water should be served as standard in all coffee shops, café bars, and restaurants without request, but that’s my rant over!
-Don’t go crazy and start to increase massively your intake within the first few hours of your day! Gradually build up to your requirement (formula above), especially if you are already considerably below your target requirement.
-If you feel like drinking a fizzy, carbonated, often sugary drink, just spare a moment to consider why. Very often it can be full of Aspartame, unnatural sweeteners, dyes… and a variety of other strange often unpronounceable ingredients! Whereas, within reason, water is water. You also won’t run the risk of drinking extra pointless calories. Yes, certain fizzy drinks can be a better choice than others in terms of calorie and sugar content; however the hydration properties of these drinks (with the exception of certain electrolyte based products) will be inferior to basic water.
-Yes you will initially start to urinate more frequently (politely speaking) as your body adapt to the increase in liquid, you will get used to it!
-Stay very clear of flavoured water drinks. For example, the ‘touch of fruit’ products by Volvic can contain up to 27.5 g of sugar per 500ml bottle.
Stay hydrated and stay happy.
Water is your friend.
Lieberman HR (2007) Hydration and cognition: a critical review and recommendations for future research. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 25, 555S-561S
EFSA Journal 2011: 9(4):2075 Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to water and maintenance of normal physical and cognitive functions (ID 1102, 1209, 1294, 1331) maintenance of normal thermoregulation (ID 1208) and “basic requirement of all living things” (ID 1207) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061