For those of you that are active or just looking to regulate your hydration levels, experts agree that we cannot all follow the same rule of 8-10 glasses of water per day. If you are very active you may need more. Or maybe you’re sitting at a desk all day? Then you will be fine on 7 glasses per day. We must drink to slake our thirst but be careful not to drink too much or we can lose nutrients. It is not just a simple equation. We have to be smart and listen to our body. To perform your best and feel like a champ, follow these new rules of hydration!
Opposed to what we once thought, it is not a one size fits all philosophy for drinking water. Experts advise to drink according to when you are thirsty. Usually this will be 6 or 7 glasses of water a day but if you are very active it may be several more. Slight dehydration will have no impact on your health but over hydration will. So listen to your body and drink when you are thirsty!
In the past we always followed the thinking of drink plenty to avoid becoming dehydrated. I followed this too. But from the latest research, times are changing. Studies have revealed several contradictions with this advice. For one, when athletes drink according to thirst, they usually replace only slightly less than three quarters of the fluid they lose, but studies have shown that this state of slight dehydration does not harm performance or health. Additionally you can overdo it by drinking too much if you follow this thinking.
Too much water and you can get sick, or even suffer from hyponatremia, a sometimes fatal condition. I have done this in a marathon or two. Drinking too much water can take the life out of you. Drink according to your thirst and do not overdo it!
But if you go easy on the water, guess what, this is not good either. If you do not drink enough, you can overheat, dehydrate, and do serious damage to yourself. Not drinking enough water can actually damage your organs.
I usually go by the thinking that if I stop sweating in a workout, I am not drinking enough. Lack of sweat is often due to dehydration. So drink to your health!
The best advice I give to people going the distance in a marathon or other endurance event is to drink days before. Hydrate with water and electrolytes several days in advance so that on race day you are ready to rock it!
I know it sounds creepy but check out the color of your urine because it can tell you a lot about your hydration. If it is dark, you are probably not drinking enough. If it is clear you are drinking too much, but if it is the color of straw it is just right. So check out the color of your urine, it is a great gage to ensure you are plenty hydrated.
Athletes were always told water and sports drinks were equal as long as they were staying hydrated. However, recent studies have found losing the salt in sweating that atheletes experience, it's better to reach for the sports drink with electrolytes or sodium is the better option.
It was believed before that protein stops fluid absorption which prevents rehydration, but further studies have shown small amounts of protein actually helps the body absorb fluid into the bloodstream and helps the body retain the fluids for longer which also aids in slowing the dehydration process.
While it's true that caffeine does act as a diuretic, it's been proven in multiple studies that caffeines diuretic effects can be slowed with exercise which is beneficial because caffeine is a major stimulant boost to your metabolism as well as your energy to work out to begin with!
Follow these new rules of hydration to ensure you are drinking enough and ready to rock the day!
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