Hydration: 6 Important Tips to Drink More Water

Hydration is as essential to your fitness results as your diet!  Your hydration can influence your workout outcomes and even your fat burning!  Despite waters importance, many of us find it challenging to get enough of it each day.

Lack of water leads to dehydration, which hinders workout performance, decreases lifts, causes cramping and decreases workout intensity. In fact, just a 2% loss of body fluids from sweat results in a performance decrease of up to 20%.  Even mild dehydration can zap energy levels—making you feel sluggish and tired. Need more reasons to start drinking more water? Keep reading to find out why water is important, along with easy ways to get more of it!

The Importance of Hydration!

  1. Transports Nutrients

Water is the key component of blood, which transports oxygen, nutrients and hormones throughout the body. This transport is critical when it comes to delivering important nutrients to stimulate muscle building, recovery and oxygen to cells to fuel aerobic and anaerobic performance.

  1. Metabolizes Food 

Without water, we could not dissolve, circulate or transfer metabolized food throughout the body. Water helps with digestion of carbohydrates and excretion of excess nitrogen from protein.

  1. Nutrient Delivery

Water can help drive nutrients into the muscle cells where they can be used to perform a function or stimulate a biochemical pathway. One good example of a supplement that requires transport of water is creatine! Without it, creatine cannot move into the muscle cells where it can help to generate ATP or muscle energy.

  1. Joint Lubrication

Water is needed to support the cartilage tissue around the ends of bones. When cartilage is well-hydrated, the two opposing surfaces glide freely minimizing friction between them.

  1. Regulates Fat Metabolism 

Water helps assist in the transport of released fatty acids from fat stores to be burned off as energy. Water also assists in regulating your metabolism and body temperature.

  1. Controls Appetite

Drinking plenty of water will not only keep you hydrated, it will always keep you feeling full. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. In fact, research has shown that individuals, who drank at least two glasses of water before a meal, ate 75 to 90 fewer calories at the meal than those who didn’t.

Training Hydration Tips

Now that you understand the importance of water, be sure you get enough of it! If you are not sure how much you need, here are a few tips:

  • Ensure you are hydrated prior to exercise; consume water throughout the day, and several hours prior to exercise.
  • Drink 15 – 20 oz of water 2 – 3 hours before exercise and drink 8 – 10 oz, 10 – 15 min before exercise.
  • Continue to hydrate during workouts by drinking 8 – 10 oz every 10 -15 min during exercise.
  • If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8 – 10 oz of a sport drinks containing minerals and no more than 8% carbohydrate every 15 – 30 minutes. This will help replace the sodium lost through sweat and ensure electrolyte balance, which is needed for muscle contraction.
  • Post workout, the goal is to fully replace any lost fluids, which can be done not just through water but also through consumption of other foods and beverages that have high water content. Food provides about 20 percent of total water intake, particularly from fruits and vegetables, which can be up to 90 percent or more water by weight.


How to Up Your Water Intake – Infused Water!

Flavoured water is all the rage, but unfortunately many flavoured waters or flavoured water shots are loaded with food colouring, preservatives, sugar and artificial sweeteners, which can increase thirst instead of quench it! Instead, why not try making your own water infusion— all you need is some fresh fruit, herbs and herbal tea. Infusions provide little to no extra calories, and a whole lot of good nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants!  Plus flavour can make you drink more water.

Here are five water-infusion recipes to keep you hydrated!

What You’ll Need:

  • Crushed ice
  • 1 to 2 quarts of water
  • 2-quart pitcher or water infusion pitcher

Raspberry and Lime Mojito

  • ½ pint of raspberries
  • 10 thin slices of lime
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint
  • 1 tsp stevia (optional)

In a pitcher, muddle half the raspberries and mint until they make a mush. Add a few whole raspberries and sliced key limes. Fill with water. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours. Stir occasionally. Serve over ice.

Citrus Cucumber

  • 1 thinly sliced cucumber
  • 6 thin slices of lemon
  • ½ thinly sliced lime

In a pitcher, combine cucumber, lemon and lime slices. Fill with cold water. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and serve over ice.

Orange Berry Tea

  • 8 orange zinger tea bags
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • ½ pint of blackberries
  • 6 thin slices of lemon
  • 6 thin slices of orange or tangerine
  • 1 tsp of stevia (optional)

Pour 4 cups of boiling water over 8 tea bags in a heat-resistant container. Steep tea for 4 to 6 minutes, then remove tea bags and let cool. In a pitcher, muddle ½ of the blackberries, lemon and oranges. Add cooled tea, and an additional 4 cups of water. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours, then serve over ice.

Cherry Lemonade

  • 6 thin slices of lemon
  • 10 thin slices of key lime
  • 6 pitted black cherries
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint
  • 500 ml of sparkling water

Muddle lemon, lime and mint in the bottom of a pitcher. Add cherries, sparkling water, and fill remaining with cold water. Cover and chill in the fridge for a few hours. Serve over ice.

Coconut Mango Lime

  • 300 ml of coconut water
  • 10 thin slices of key lime
  • 5 to 6 chunks of mango
  • 1 sprig of mint

Muddle lime and mint at the bottom of a pitcher, add coconut water, mango and top with water. Cover and chill in the fridge for a few hours. Serve over ice.

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule The World,

Lauren Jacobsen

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