Everyone agrees that water is good for you and experts tell us that in general we don’t drink enough. We’ve all had it drummed into us that we need to drink at least eight glasses of water a day along with various other accepted truths. But how much should we really be drinking before and after a work out?
Well, first here are a few truths about the various water drinking myths:
1. There is no scientific evidence to prove that 8 glasses of water a day is the correct amount.
2. Being thirsty does not mean that you’re already dehydrated. The best measure of how much to drink is your thirst.
3. Tea and coffee does hydrate you. There isn’t enough caffeine in your typical cuppa to act as a diuretic.
4. Water does not make you thin. It simply curbs your appetite by making you feel full.
The fact is that water is the most critical nutrient for life. You can go several weeks without food, but you can’t go more than a few days without water. As your body is more than 60% water here is what you need it for:
* Hydration: Exercise causes water loss through sweat so make sure you drink before, during and after a workout.
* Recovery: Your muscles need water to recover and if you don’t drink enough you’ll limit your muscle gains.
* Digestion: You need 25g of fibre a day for optimal digestion. Fibre binds to water so it useless if you don’t drink enough.
* Health: Water regulates body temperature, prevents kidney stones, improves skin health and is good for your joints.
How Much Water Do You Need Daily?
There is no definitive answer but, I find that a good way to check if you’re drinking enough on a daily basis is by your urine. If you have healthy kidneys/bladder, your urine should be like the colour of straw and odourless. Darker urine is only acceptable when you first go in the morning.
Make drinking water a habit
As soon as you wake up have a glass of water and have a glass of water with each meal. Of course, you may be drinking tea or coffee throughout the day, but getting into the habit of drinking water with food will aid your digestion and will make you feel fuller. During your workouts sip water the whole time.
Drinking more water will make you go to the toilet more at first, but your bladder will adapt. After a few weeks you’ll have to go less, but probably a bit more than before.
Consider it a good thing. Spending too much time in the same position causes problems in the long-term. Drinking water is the best way to force you to get away from your desk from time to time.
Drinking water can be boring, but simply a squeeze of lemon juice or sugar free cordial and you’ll soon get used to it.