H20 is really so simple; I mean, how can this hydrogen molecule connected to 2 oxygen molecules be so crucial to life? Water is literally life-giving and affects hundreds of bodily functions on the daily. Our bodies are so reliant on water that we could survive months without food, but only a week or so without water. It is THAT vital. As a fitness professional, I have people asking me about how to fix this or fix that and more times than not my answer is: drink more water! Seriously, the power of proper hydration is so underestimated. These are some serious reasons why you should be drinking more water:
- You will be more energized.
Ever had that mid afternoon slump? Or just felt like a total sloth, when you know you shouldn’t because you got plenty of sleep the night before? According to Medicaldaily.com, when our body is dehydrated the enzyme capacity in our bodies slows down, and the fluid loss causes a drop in blood volume, which makes your heart have to work that much harder to push oxygen and nutrients into the bloodstream, thus our energy crashes, as well as your mental clarity, leaving you in a fog. Say goodbye to your afternoon workout because you are going to be moving at a snail’s pace, not to mention your muscles will fatigue faster. In fact, as little as a 3% loss of body weight due to hydration can cause as much as 10% drop in performance level during a workout. Drinking water throughout the day can keep you energized, your blood flowing freely and your mind clear.
- Your skin will clear up.
Sweat is not only your body’s way of cooling itself down, but it is also a way that your body rids itself of toxins. When you are dehydrated, your body cannot not rid itself of toxins properly, making it more vulnerable to breakouts and skin disorders. Adequate hydration can miraculously clear up damaged, dry, or blemished skins.
- You will recover faster
Your muscles are made up of almost 80% water; naturally, this means they need water to function properly and recover after a workout. If you’ve ever had that my-legs-feel-like-lead today feeling or my-arms-really-won’t-function-for me during a workout, or a couple days later you are still crazy-sore and you feel like your muscles just aren’t recovering, almost every single time I can pinpoint it to dehydration. Not only can your muscles not generate enough energy to work sufficiently for you during your workout if they are not dehydrated, but dehydration can slow down the protein synthesis (rebuilding of muscle post-workout) after you are done, slowing down muscle growth and repair. Proper hydration can also help your heart rate recover faster; adequate water keeps your blood pumping, while dehydration makes your blood volume decrease, making it move slower through your body and your body has to work harder to get it where it needs to be to help you recover. The take-away here? Drink water and plenty of it during and after your workout to keep muscles fueled and strong.
- You will hit your weight loss goals faster
Water is involved in almost every bodily function; so that means your body’s metabolism slows down when you are dehydrated. I’ll put this another way that might be easier to understand: when you are dehydrated you are not burning fat. That’s right, your body cannot use fat as fuel when it is dehydrated so your metabolism suffers greatly. Drinking water all throughout the day when you are trying to shed a few pounds can mean the difference between hitting or missing your weight loss goals.
- You will keep sickness at bay.
I have already mentioned that water is a part of every bodily function, and this includes powering your immune system. Adequate hydration helps your body eliminate toxins, which makes it easier to fight disease and infection. It also allows your cells to take in nutrients and oxygen, keeping them vibrant and healthy. Another interesting fact is that dehydration can increase allergens. Your body will restrict airways when it is dehydrated to conserve water, while increasing the rate of histamines (compounds in your body that gets rid of allergens in your body by creating allergic or inflammatory responses) produced by the body. Stay hydrated to keep inflammation and illness away!