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HEALTH & FITNESS ARTICLES

WATER Why So Important

“If you dehydrate your body, it’s like dehydrating your plants. Who wants to have a wilted body?’
Dr. Lawrence Lamb, author of ‘The weighting game’
 
What would you say if I told you that there was a substance that could almost instantly increase your muscle contractile strength by 10-15% and increase your capacity for prolonged aerobic exercise by 20-30%? What’s more, the substance is totally legal and has no side effects. Not only that, it can also help you burn fat more efficiently and help increase your muscular development. No it’s not a drug, an illegal substance or a performance-enhancing supplement.
I’m talking about a little known ‘secret’ for accelerating fat loss, increasing your performance and improving your physique. Well, it’s not even a ‘secret’ because the ‘secret’ I’m talking about is drinking the correct amount of water every single day.

Yes-plain old water. Even if you are slightly dehydrated (most people are walking around in a constant state of semi-dehydration), your results and performance will improve instantly.
Most people have heard the maxim, ‘drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.’ That’s good to a point, but most of the time one doesn’t do this. If you have made a clear-cut goal and have made the commitment to become the best you can be, then it’s time to add another daily habit to your lists of must do’s-the habit of drinking plenty of water every day.

Most people don’t drink nearly enough water, and the effects are subtle and can be quite devastating to your goals. Let me explain. Have you ever woken up in the morning felling groggy with the effect of having a ‘hangover?’ Well, you were probably dehydrated. In fact, a hangover, a headache, tiredness or fatigue is in large part created by dehydration from the diuretic effects of alcohol. Or, during a work out you feel ‘flat’ or by end of your session ‘bonk out’ again you are more than likely dehydrated. As you can see, the effects of dehydration can be very subtle. By the time you feel any effects of dehydration, it’s too late-you’re already there. You might think you’re over-worked, you didn’t get enough sleep or coming down with something. That’s why so many people easily overlook this vital aspect of nutrition.

With so much attention surrounding aspects such as protein and carbohydrate intake and a whole bunch of other nutritional topics, it’s no wonder that something as simple as water gets taken for granted and gets so easily overlooked. The fact remains that every physiological process in your body depends on water. Water is the most abundant nutrient in the body. About 60-70% of our bodies are comprised of water. Our blood is about 90% water. Our muscles are about 70% and even our bones are about 20%. So it goes to say that without water, nothing in our bodies would function. Water is necessary to regulate temperature, to transport nutrients as well as building tissue. Water is required for joint lubrication, digestion, circulation, respiration and absorption. In short, without it we are in big trouble!

While there are many aspects and subjects on the benefits of water, one may stand out that may be of particular interest. How water is essential to the fat loss process. In brief, here’s why. One of the important functions of the kidneys is to eliminate toxic wastes from our bodies. When you are dehydrated, the bodies instinctive reaction is to hold on to whatever water it does have to survive. When this water retention occurs, the waste products in the body are not flushed out and can build up in your system. At this point, the liver may try to help out with the overload. The problem is that when the liver helps out during fluid retention, it cant do its own jobs as efficiently, one of which is to burn stored body fat for energy. The result is that your body will not be able to burn body fat as effectively as normal. In other words your metabolism gets greatly effected. Another huge benefit of water consumption, as you may have gathered, is the fantastic detoxification effects it has.

So how much is enough? The 8-10 glasses a day is a good guideline, but activity levels and each individual body composition and mass is also a consideration. There are formulas for this if you want to be really precise, but you should make it a habit to drink water on a regular basis. Your level of thirst is not a very good indicator of your level of dehydration. By the time your body registers the sensation of thirst, you’re already somewhat dehydrated. Therefore, you should continue drinking water throughout the day, even if you are not thirsty. The secret is to not get dehydrated in the first place. If in doubt, drink more not less.


This article was provided by Tom Aitken Personal Training
For more information on Tom Aitken Personal Training, check out their full profile here.
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