Water and Exercise: They Simply Go Together
Did you know that about 70% of your body is made up of water? It’s true. Your body needs water to perform everything from digestion to things at the cellular level. Factor in water’s ability to lubricate joints and tissue, aid in the transfer of nutrients to cells, and flush out toxins and you’ve got a substance that is absolutely essential before, during, and after exercise.
Here’s why you, water, and exercise should become best buddies that next time you work out.
Good for the Heart
We all know that exercise is good for your heart, but so is water. A six-year study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses. But that’s not the only reason you should be drinking more water.
A Must for Exercise
When you don’t drink enough water, your body can become easily dehydrated. Dehydration can severely hamper your athletic activities by slowing you down and making it harder to exert muscle strength. Not to mention, water lubricates your joints (which experience stress when exercising) and exercise inherently uses more water in your body that you normally would when you’re not exercising. Make it a habit to bring along a reusable water bottle or hydration pack the next time you plan on running a marathon, taking a bike ride, or spending some time at the gym.
The Right Amount
So how much water should you be drinking? Well, it’s debatable. Most people go by the recommendation of eight 8 oz. glasses a day, but that’s not right. That number includes ALL dietary intake of water, which includes more than just glasses; it also incorporates food and non-water beverages. So as a better rule of thumb, form a routine. Start out by drinking a glass when you wake up, a glass with every meal, a glass between meals, and then before, during, and after exercise. Don’t just drink when you’re thirsty – that means you’re already experiencing dehydration.
Getting More Water
To get more water, make it your drink of choice. Pass on the juice, soft drinks, or alcoholic beverages and reach for water. It’ll keep you hydrated while offering numerous health benefits, including aided weight loss, better skin, and better digestion.
In addition to reaching for water whenever you get thirsty, you should also make it a habit to carry a resuable water bottle with you. Refill it throughout the day and keep it close by as a reminder to get hydrated. Not a fan of the taste of water? Make sure you filter it or add some flavor by adding a twist of citrus or cucumber. It’s so refreshing!
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How do you get more water? We’d love to hear your tips for staying hydrated!