When people think about the “secret” to fitness, they think of huge changes to your lifestyle. They think of things like going to the gym every single day or cutting sugar completely out of your diet. The truth of the matter is that sustainable lifestyle changes are usually a series of small, easy-to-follow steps. Sometimes the simplest change can make all the difference. And, there is no simpler change that you can make to improve your health than drinking more water! This seems so basic that you might be skeptical. How can drinking more water really make that much of a difference? Proper hydration is an important foundational step in getting the most out of your workouts, having more energy, looking better, and feeling better. In this article, I will talk about some of the health benefits of hydration and how you can use hydration to your advantage.
Chances Are, You Aren’t Getting Enough Water
A recent study conducted by CBS found that nearly 75% of Americans suffer from mild yet chronic dehydration. This is a staggering statistic, especially when considering that most Americans have access to clean drinking water at most times during the day. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might not be getting enough water on a daily basis:
- Urine that is a dark color.
- Dizziness or lightheadedness.
- Fatigue or low energy during the day.
While you might generally know that it is important to stay hydrated, you might not know specifically what the benefits of hydration are. Drinking water and staying hydrated is the foundation for making sure that your body is working properly. When you are dehydrated, your muscles and organs cannot work at their full potential. In order to maintain blood flow, digest food properly, and allow your kidneys to function correctly, you need to be hydrated. For athletes, endurance and strength are also compromised by dehydration. If you want to compete at your best, you need to stay properly hydrated.
Here are a few additional health benefits to proper hydration:
- Healthier skin. Reduce wrinkles and skin dryness when you drink enough water.
- Reduce fatigue. You might not need that cup of coffee in the morning – you just need more water! Water will give you more energy. It will help you combat feeling tired during the day.
- Improved digestive system. Water aids in the process of food metabolism. Drinking enough water means that your body will be able to process nutrients and excrete waste products.
- Improved joint quality. Water is contained in synovial fluid, which helps protect your joints.
- Increased weight loss. Water helps metabolize fat and can increase weight loss.
- Aids in the muscle building process. You can reduce muscle cramps and build muscle by having enough water in your system.
Easy Ways to Become Better Hydrated
Hydration is an important but overlooked part of our daily lives. The average person should drink 8-12 eight ounce cups of water per day. If you are an athlete or an active person, you will likely need more water to maintain proper hydration. Every person’s body is different, so experiment with how much water you drink and see at what point you feel your best. Tracking how much water you drink each day and how you feel can be beneficial to determining your optimal water intake. To drink more water, consider these simple hacks:
- Make water the first thing that you drink in the morning. Many people swear by starting their day with a glass of water. After sleeping for 8 hours, your body is dehydrated! Getting a glass of water in your body as soon as possible will help you hydrate and start the day off right.
- Buy a reusable water bottle. I use one reusable water bottle throughout the day. I bring it with me to the office, to the gym, on vacation, in the car – basically anywhere I go, my water bottle goes with me. You can save a lot of money by having one reusable water bottle instead of reaching for a new plastic water bottle every time you need a drink. It is also more environmentally friendly to use a reusable water bottle.
- Drink when you feel bored. Humans have the unfortunate habit of eating when they feel bored, just to do something. Replace this bad habit with drinking water – this way, you can cut out snacking on junk food and become more hydrated at the same time.
- Set a reminder. You can set a reminder on your phone or laptop to drink a glass of water every hour.
- Set a goal. If you set a goal of how many glasses of water that you want to drink per day, you will have to hold yourself accountable to this goal. This can motivate you to meet your goal.
Drinking more water is a quick and easy way to become healthier. For more tips on improving your health, come visit our facilities. We are happy to meet with you during a free initial consultation in which we can discuss a plan to improve your health and fitness.