What does "staying hydrated" really mean? Is there a certain amount of water you need to drink every hour/day? Are some beverages better for hydration than others? How much should you drink to avoid hydration?
These questions and more are asked by people familiar with the concept of proper hydration, but without a true understanding of what it really means. To help you out, here is everything you need to know about proper hydration:
Water matters most during workouts. Even just a 2% dehydration can lead to significant impairments in terms of muscle contractions and endurance. Staying hydrated all day long is vital, but it's most important during periods of exercise. To prepare for your workout, drink at least 1 liter of water in the 2 hours leading up to your training session. Sip water during the workout, and include at least 250 mL of fluids in your post-workout routine.
Water can lead to cramps and stitches. The purpose of drinking water BEFORE your workout is to ensure that you have enough fluid for proper body function during your training. However, drinking a lot of water during your training can lead to cramps and stitches. Make sure to drink most of your water no less than 30 minutes before working out. During the training, sip water to encourage hydration without filling your stomach with water.
Water plays a role in weight loss management. How can water help you lose weight, you ask? Water reduces the amount of calories you consume, especially cold water. Your weight loss diet plan should include at least 3 liters of cold water per day. The more water you drink, the less likely you are to feel hungry throughout the day.
Water is best cold. Not only does cold water help to burn more calories (energy is expended to heat up the water), but it can actually reduce workout fatigue and boost your stamina. Icy water can lower your core body temperature and prevent overheating during intense training sessions.
Water is the best thing to drink. Soda, juice, and fruit drinks are all loaded with extra sugar and calories that have no place in proper weight loss programs. Green tea, black tea, and coffee all contain caffeine, which can lead to dehydration. The best thing to drink is water, which contains no added calories and only provides positive benefits.
Water is your best friend—include it in your daily diet, and use it to stay hydrated, energized, and keep away those hunger pangs!