Hydration is an important topic in fitness because it affects pretty much every aspect of your workout. Your performance, recovery, mental focus, body composition, and even joint health are all affected by your state of hydration.
In south Florida such as Ft. Lauderdale, Miramar or Hialeah, staying hydrated right from the moment you wake up is crucial, but most people tend to drink way below their daily recommended quota. Here are 7 reasons why you should try to stay hydrated throughout the day.
1. It’s good for renal health. Your kidneys are responsible for processing the waste your body produces, and they can become stressed when they don’t receive enough water, which puts you at risk of kidney stones. Staying hydrated helps your kidneys function properly and lets your body effectively flush out all the toxins and waste it produces.
2. It stabilizes your blood pressure. Drinking enough water is one of the simplest ways to naturally lower your blood pressure. Dehydration forces your body to shut down parts of its capillary network. This process puts more pressure on your capillaries and arteries, which elevates your blood pressure. Staying hydrated is an easy way to ensure your blood pressure stays low.
3. It improves performance. Dehydration can lower your overall performance in the gym. Your body’s ability to transport key nutrients and flush out lactic acid in muscles is drastically reduced when you’re not hydrated. Your workout will become more challenging, and it will negatively impact your gains.
4. It regulates internal body temperature. Water regulates your body’s internal temperature through the process of sweat production and evaporation. Blood that flows to the surface of the skin ensures your outer body remains cool and carries that effect to your inner body.
5. Muscle volume. Your cells will shrink when you train while dehydrated and this will cause muscle protein breakdown. Drinking enough water will reduce protein breakdown and improve muscle strength and endurance, which helps with protein synthesis and overall muscle growth.
6. It helps with recovery. Staying hydrated helps your body transport nutrients more effectively, improves your overall gut and joint health, and can greatly affect your ability to recover and grow. In addition to affecting your performance, hydration is crucial for proper recovery. Make sure you drink enough water even on your rest days.
7. Water isn’t the only fluid that hydrates. Plain water isn’t the only thing that can hydrate your body. All safe-to-drink fluids (except alcohol) are hydrating because they have high water content. For example, low-fat milk is 90% water and cooked oatmeal is 84% water. Plain water is usually the most recommended source of hydration because it has zero calories and is naturally healthy.
Proper hydration does more than just quench your thirst; it’s the key to enduring health and good performance. Science has debunked the “8 glasses of water every day” rule, but many health authorities still recommend adults drink at least 2 liters (34 fl oz) of water a day.
The exact amount you need will depend on your age, weight, activity level, occupation, and the climate in your part of the world. With how easy it is to access clean drinking water in most developed countries, there’s really no good excuse to allow yourself to become dehydrated.