Why hydration is key to your fitness goals

I spent the last few months learning as much as I could to achieve the ideal body that I want to have such as visible vascularity in the arms, a chiseled abdomen and a great set of legs. Although I rarely drink alcohol and consume junk food, my results so far are not exactly where I want to be in my pursuit for an ultimate lean body combined with strength and speed. Perhaps my meal frequency is way off.  The only thing I care about my macros is ensuring I can hit at least my bodyweight in protein (138lbs for 140g of protein) and avoid high fat and carbs, even though that defeats the purpose of the IIFYM diet plan.

Regardless if the diet plan is Paleo or eating clean, I  feel that another component to a lean, ripped body is drinking enough water per day.  As much as I hate to say this and I’m going to go a bit TMI (Too much information), there are some days that my urine is so  densely concentrated  solely because I failed to drink enough water in a day. This makes me hungry, sluggish and cranky even if I do my post-workout shake and eat a fair amount of food.  Before I can talk about nutrition and the different diets, let’s talk about a fundamental aspect of nutrition that is often unmet, hydration.

To achieve weight loss, athletic performance, and a much greater health, proper hydration is vital. Here are a few things to keep in mind before your next workout.

Try to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day.  A half-gallon to a gallon of water a day would be great because water isn’t just to keep you hydrated, but everything else in your body will fall in places such as lesser hangovers, no acne to even a healthier scalp, hair, and nails. Take a look of this Infographic, courtesy of Mindbodygreen.com

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2) Keep in mind to drink other drinks besides water as you train for longer sessions.  “When we sweat, we lose electrolytes, which minerals are found in the blood that help to regulate (among other things) the amount of water in the body.  I suggest coconut water since sports drinks are too much loaded with sugar.

3) You can tell if you are hydrated by the color of your urine. The goal is to have a pale yellow color each day. If clear, then you are overhydrated and can be a huge problem. This can cause a life-threatening condition called hyponatremia or water intoxication. This occurs where the sodium level of your body is diluted.  The problems can “cause a clouding of consciousness, nausea/vomiting, lightheadedness, dizziness, and in severe cases, seizures, unconsciousness or death.”

 

I remember during my track days in high school, I loathed the times I wished I could have gone faster, but because my hydration was not to par, I can see that there was nothing much I can do since my body underwent grueling workouts. This taught me to lug that gallon water jug almost everywhere I go because I fear at times that I would miss the goal of performing heavier reps in different sets. This post may be short and I am planning to learn more about nutrition as I go along this blog, but for now, water is key. I can’t stress that enough.