The Importance of Drinking Enough Water

Bottle Of Water Drinking Water Bottle Mineral Water

Water is our source of life. Wherever you find water, anywhere on this planet, you will find life.

I think most people know that water is important. Just go a day without  water and your body will scream at you to drink. Even a slight drop in hydration will cause lack of concentration, headaches, lethargy, drop in performance,  less co-ordination, sub-optimal muscle contractions and the list can go on.

So how much water do we need?

Well, the same goes for water as it does for protein  intake. There is a difference between what we need and what is optimal for health and fat loss. Water is often one of the first things I tackle when working with a new client and once in a while I come up against a little resistance.

“My body tells me when I need to drink, I just have a glass of water when I am thirsty”

This is fine if you are just looking to survive, this strategy will keep you alive but I’m assuming most people reading this right now want more than to survive. You want to optimise your health and allow your body to burn as much fat as possible.

I’ve already mentioned that just a small decrease in your hydration  (1-5% reduction) will have negative consequences  but just think about lethargy and impaired muscle contraction. Two things which will be very important for your body’s ability to burn energy.

So let’s get on top of your water intake.

First work out how much water you should be drinking.

There are lots of different guidelines out there but I like to go with 1 litre per 25kg of bodyweight. This would mean if you weigh 75kg you should be drinking 3 litres of water per day.

This may seem like a lot to some of you and pretty average for others but if it seems like it’s too much start small. Introduce 500ml of water to your day. If you don’t already have water in the morning I would start here.

By starting your day with more water you are setting up a habit that will stay in your mind. When  you get used to that small increase you can increase again but not until you feel like it has become a habit. It would normally take around a week or two per increase.

You should also note that when we talk about hydration  we’re not just talking about water. You have a natural electrolyte (salts) balance which your body will try to maintain. If you drink too much water your salts will be diluted too much and so your body will just pass most of the water straight back out again.

Cue the bathroom breaks.

The reverse is also true. If you eat food which is too salty this salts balance will increase and make you very thirsty so you drink more water and bring this ratio back into balance.

TOP TIP: The answer is to add a little natural salt to your water. A small pinch of Himalayan rock salt or some sea salt will do the trick. You don’t need much, in fact if you add too much you are just going to make yourself more thirsty for the reasons mentioned above.

Add just a small pinch to 1 litre of water and you should notice a big difference with the number of bathroom breaks you have compared to drinking just plain water. You can also buy electrolyte powders which are specifically formulated  for this purpose but are a little more expensive than natural salt.

Point to note – if your water tastes salty you have put too much in. You should barely be aware of it.

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