May 24th, 2017
When it comes to health, water tops the podium. It’s the hero you didn’t know you had in you.
In every sense, water keeps us running. It cycles through our cells and tissues, transporting nutrients and clearing out waste. It regulates body temperature, cushions joints and internal organs, and keeps the digestive system functioning properly. Without it, we wouldn’t last a week.
Not only do we need water—we are water. More than two thirds of the human body is composed of H2O. It accounts for 75 percent of our muscle tissue, and more than 75 percent of the blood that courses through our veins.
Needless to say, if you want to exercise efficiently, hydration is key, so keep these points in mind when you consider your water intake:
1) When you move, you sweat. It’s a natural process. Perspiration opens your pores, flushing out toxins and cooling you down. As your heart rate increases, you breathe more rapidly. With each exhale and every bead of sweat, water leaves your body.
2) Even a small amount of dehydration can diminish your athletic efforts. It affects your mental state, reducing coordination. It increases the risk of heatstroke, and causes muscle fatigue and cramps. Drinking fluids allows you to sustain a healthy exercise routine without putting your body at risk.
3) Don’t wait until the start of your fitness routine to give your body what it needs. Even when you aren’t preparing for vigorous exercise, it’s important to be mindful of your fluid intake.
4) During a regular day, aim for 8-12 cups of fluid. Water’s one of your best options, but other fluids—like milk, fresh juice, or tea—are good too. Keep in mind that caffeine is a diuretic. A cup or two won’t hurt, but it’s best in moderation.
5) Thirst isn’t the best measure of dehydration, so don’t expect your body to tell you when it’s time to top up. Instead, take breaks to hydrate regularly throughout your workout. Aim for 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. If you find yourself sweating profusely, increase your intake.
So after the next workout, toast your success with a tall, cool glass of cucumber water – your body will thank you.