Water

The "secret" to almost instantly increasing your strength by 10-15% and endurance by 20%-30%

What would you say if I told there was a substance that could almost instantly increase your muscle contractile strength by 10-15% and increase your capacity for prolonged aerobic exercise by 20 to 30%?

Keeping yourself well hydrated is a key consideration for achieving optimal health and maximising exercise performance.

Our bodies consist of approximately 70 percent water and a drop of just a few percent can result in adverse symptoms. The reason for this is water is needed to control body temperature as well as for the delivery of nutrients and excretion of wastes. Water also forms the medium in which the body’s many chemical reactions occur.

How do you know if you are hydrated?

Despite common misconception, thirst is actually an imperfect measure of how well hydrated you are. By the time you are thirsty you can be already dehydrated by half a litre or so. Therefore, thirst cannot be relied upon to monitor hydration status.

A better way to keep check on your level of hydration is by monitoring urine output. The motto here is, ‘Don’t go for gold!’ When fully hydrated your urine should be clear and odourless – although vitamin B2 can give a bright yellow appearance.

What is the best way to stay hydrated?

On average your body loses approximately 2.5 litres of fluid everyday, which equates to around eight glasses of three standard drink bottles, which is why we should aim to drink each day. Obviously your fluid requirements increase substantially in hot weather and during times of high activity. During such times your fluid intake should increase accordingly.

During exercise fluid loss through sweating is often in order of 800 millilitres (mL) to 1.4 litres per hour (approximately three to six glasses), although sweat rates of up to three litres per hour have been recorded. It is desirable to match your rate of fluid consumption with your rate of sweating. It’s interesting to note that volntary drinking only replaces about two-thirds of the body water you lose to sweat. Therefore, making a purposeful attempt to stay hydrated is necessary. It is recommended 1 litre of water per 25kg of lean body weight be consumed. Obviously, in order to keep hydrated you need fluid to be accessible, so be sure to keep a drink bottle on your desk, in the car and with you when you exercise.

What should I drink?

There are a variety of beverages available on the market, so which one should you drink? The answer to the question depends on several factors, including the occasion in which you use them, as well as personal preference. Plain water with a pinch of rock salt is always a good hydration option. However, many people find plain water boring as it lacks taste appeal and so they don’t drink as much as they require. If this is the case, drinking a flavoured beverage can provide a greater incentive to keep hydrated. Also, plain water does not replace electrolytes that can be lost in sweat. This may be an important consideration if you are perspiring heavily for a long period of time. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have been specially formulated to do two things. Firstly, they ‘put back in what the sweat takes out’ which includes water and electrolytes. Secondly, they provide energy for exercise – typically around 150-200 calories per bottle. If you are exercising for an extended period of time (e.g., longer than one hour) this energy has been shown to delay fatigue and improve exercise performance. However, if you do not exercise for long periods of time or you exercise to manage your body weight, the calories in sports drinks may not be desirable. For example, it can take 30 minutes or more of walking to burn off the calories in a bottle of sports drink.

Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in your body, making up approximately 15-20% of your weight.

"If you dehydrate your body, it is like dehydrating your plants. Who wants to have a wilted body?

“Alcohol puts fat metabolism on hold. It’s not your friend if you’re trying to stay lean.”

The "secret" to almost instantly increasing your strength by 10-15% and endurance by 20%-30%

What would you say if I told there was a substance that could almost instantly increase your muscle contractile strength by 10-15% and increase your capacity for prolonged aerobic exercise by 20 to 30%?

A little known secret for accelerating fat loss, increasing your performance and improving your physique

This "secret" I'm talking about is drinking the correct amount of H2O every single day.

Yep - plain old water! If you’re even slightly dehydrated (and most people are walking around in a constant state of semi-dehydration), your results and performance will improve instantly.

Everyone has heard the maxim, "Drink at least 8 - 10 glasses of water a day.” That’s a good starting point, but most of the time they don't do it. Now that you have a clear-cut goal and you’ve made the commitment to become the best you can be, it’s time to add another new daily habit to your list – the habit of drinking plenty of pure H20 every day.

The often subtle but devastating effects of dehydration

Most people don't drink nearly enough water, and the effects are subtle but devastating to your training and fat burning efforts. Have you ever wake up in the morning and felt so groggy it almost felt like a hangover? Maybe you didn't even want to get out of bed. Guess what? You were probably dehydrated. In fact, a "hangover" - headache, tiredness, and fatigue is partially caused by the dehydration from the diuretic effects of alcohol.

Every physiological process in your body depends on water

Because there’s so much attention placed today on complex issues such as protein and carbohydrate intake, essential fatty acids, macronutrient ratios and high-performance supplements, it's no wonder that something as simple as water could be so easily taken for granted. The importance of drinking plenty of water and keeping adequately hydrated cannot be emphasized enough.

Water is the most abundant nutrient in your body

  • Approximately 60-70% of your body is comprised of water.
  • Your blood is made up of about 90% water.
  • Your muscles are about 70% water.
  • Even your bones are 20% water.
  • Without adequate water, nothing in your body could function properly.

Every physiological process in your body takes place in water or depends on water. Water is necessary to regulate your body’s temperature, to transport nutrients, and to build tissues. Water is required for joint lubrication, digestion, circulation, respiration, absorption, and excretion. Without water, you would die in a matter of days. Sports nutritionist Dr. Michael Colgan says that water is quite simply, “the most important nutrient in the body.”

Dehydration decreases endurance, strength and physical performance

As you become dehydrated, your body's core temperature increases. This adversely affects your cardiovascular function and reduces your capacity for physical work. Even a small decrease in your body's hydration level can decrease your performance. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration of 3% of body weight can decrease contractile strength by 10%. When 4% - 5% or more of total weight is lost in water, muscular and aerobic endurance can decrease by 20% to 30%. If more than 10- 12% of the body’s weight as water is lost, you could die.

Higher protein diets have a diuretic effect and require extra attention to drinking Water

The processing of protein foods generates metabolic waste products that must be flushed out and removed by the kidneys. Without adequate water, the kidneys can’t remove these wastes properly. It is a myth that high protein diets cause kidney damage. A high protein diet is not harmful to healthy kidneys -- as long as plenty of water is consumed every day.

Water is essential to the fat burning process

Not only do you need plenty of water for good health, you also need water to lose fat. Here’s why: One of the important functions of your kidneys is to eliminate toxic waste products from your body through the urine. When you’re dehydrated, the body’s instinctive reaction is to hold on to whatever water it does have in order to survive.

When this water retention occurs, the waste products in the body aren’t flushed out, and build up in your system. At this point, the liver will try to help out with the overload.

The problem is, when the liver helps out during fluid retention, it can’t do its own jobs as efficiently, one of which is burning stored body fat for energy. The result is that your body may not be able to burn body fat as efficiently as normal.

Drinking lots of water does not make you retain water

Many people avoid drinking a lot of water because they think it will make them retain fluid and become bloated. Actually, the opposite is true. When you’re dehydrated, your body senses the lack of adequate water and holds on to all the water that’s currently in the body. When you consume adequate amounts of water, your body senses that you’re no longer dehydrated, and therefore your kidneys flush the water out of your system like they normally do, resulting in less water retention.