If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a hundred time. If you want to get the most your training, if you want to lose fat, if you want to tone up and if you want to keep it lean and toned then you have to drink water. You may not realise this, but even the act of drinking water can burn quite a few calories (keep reading to find out how – it’s not a joke).
Keeping hydrated is the most important part of your exercise programme if you want to stay lean. A lot of people who spend large amounts of money on training programmes and a gym membership fall down on this simple aspect. Water is the key to more than life, it’s the key to maximising the benefits of your training and keeping lean.
If you don’t believe me, just consider these facts:
- Drinking iced water burns fat. Yes, that’s right. The simple act of drinking chilled water burns calories. When you drink water that is lower than your body temperature, your metabolism has to heat it up. This takes energy, which in turn consumes calories. Simple physics comes into play here. Drink cold water, burn calories to make it hotter.
- Without sufficient water your body doesn’t function properly. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, as you are made up from 80% water. If something so fundamental, so essential to the very structure of the body is not there in sufficient quantity, is it any wonder the system for processing nutrients doesn’t operate at peak efficiency?
- You can live for three weeks without food. It won’t be nice, but it is possible. You can only live for three days without water. If that doesn’t convince you that water is the most important thing you can put in your body, then nothing will.
- Every part of your body relies on water to operate at peak efficiency. Water makes sure nutrients are passed into the cells, it maintains the balance of the electrolytes, sodium and potassium, which are responsible for making sure your muscles work effectively and it ensures that every essential vitamin your body needs moves around the body to where it’s needed.
- Water hydrates and protects your organs. Imagine what life would be like without a properly functioning liver or kidneys or heart. That’s not a pretty picture I’ll bet. Well, without proper hydration that’s what you’re doing to yourself.
- Water regulates your temperature. Yes, I know sweating can be annoying, especially when you don’t want it, but that’s your body trying to stop you overheating and dying. But in order to sweat, you need water. If you don’t keep hydrated, you overheat and start to cook yourself.
- Water is needed for electrolytes to do their job. Your body needs water and it will be sent to where it’s needed most before anything else get to use it, and if there’s not enough water for electrolytes to operate then very bad things start to happen. If you like horror movies, then get ready for a treat as these are just some of the effects of poor electrolyte balance.
Uncontrollable blood pressure
Nervous system breakdown
Tiredness and lethargy
And the list goes on and on and on. Hopefully you
get the idea!
Ok, so now you’re probably thinking “Oh my God, I had better drink loads of water”. Actually, that’s not a good idea either. Like all substances you put in your body, there are good amounts and bad amounts. Too much water will kill you just as much as too little water, only a lot faster. So how do you know how much water is right for you?
A simple calculation you can perform to check how much water to drink is 35ml per 1kg of body mass.
That calculation is good for everyday use, but sometimes you might need more depending on your activity levels, so is there a way to know if you’re hydrated enough? Yes, there is and it’s really simple to test. Next time you have a pee, look at the colour as that will tell you really quickly how well your body is doing:
Remember this, if nothing else. Water is what you need. Other drinks are probably highly loaded with sugar or artificial ingredients that your body has to process and filter out to get at the good stuff. Do yourself a favour and put down that Orange Juice packed with sugar. It’s water you need, the rest is just marketing or feeding your sugar addiction.