The Physical Benefits Of Great Hydration
I’m sure we’re all aware that it’s a good idea to drink more water, particularly when we’re involved in endurance type exercise like running. But how much should we drink, and how important is good hydration to our physical and hormonal health? And is it enough to just drink good old tap water, or is there more to good hydration than that? We’ve done some research so you can really make the most of what you drink!
Did you know…
– a 2-4% weightless in fluids can result in a reduction in muscular endurance time
– a 4-6% weightless in fluids can result in a reduction in muscular strength
– a 2-4% weightless in fluids can result in severe heat cramps and heat exhaustion
It doesn’t take much for the effects of poor hydration to be felt on our athletic performance and general health. So why is hydration so important? Proper hydration balances the amount of water and minerals in our bodies, helps remove waste and toxins, helps regulate body temperature and assists in regulating blood glucose levels.
The simple act of drinking more water will have huge benefits to your body’s metabolic functions. It’s about more than stopping thirst!
How much water should you drink?
Aim for one litre per 25kg of bodyweight.
But is it enough to just drink more water? Well, if you want to really help your body function well, recover from training and perform at its best, no it’s not. You also need to think about electrolytes.
Why are electrolytes important?
When we sweat, it’s not just water that we lose. Our bodies also lose important minerals, and these need to be replaced. Electrolytes contain essential minerals and help the body maintain normal cellular activity. Sweat typically comprises sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium and chloride along with other minerals.
Everybody needs to be adding electrolytes to the water we drink, and this is particularly important for us runners!
Here at running4women we love elete electrolyte drops: they’re a clear, flavourless addition which you mix with water, juice or other drinks to ensure you get the ideal, scientifically-measured levels of essential minerals and electrolytes. This not only helps with running performance but also with concentration, mental focus, alertness, stress management and muscle relaxation (no more cramps!) You can use drops like these during the day, during other exercise (it’s great for yoga or the gym) and it’s suitable for all the family too. We like the little portable bottles best. Take a look at www.eletewater.co.uk and give them a go.
Another tip is to filter your water using something like the Biocera Alkaline Antioxidant filter jug from Water For Health. This will change the properties and the pH of tap water, using various natural minerals, so the water you drink is cleaner, healthier and more beneficial for your body’s cells. It’s a great way of adding effective alkaline minerals to tap water, including potassium, magnesium and calcium. http://www.water-for-health.co.uk/
How can I drink more water?
If you find drinking enough water a challenge, try these tips
– drink a glass of water when you wake up (get the day off to a good start!)
– carry a bottle of water (and electrolytes) with you: in your bag, in your car, at your desk
– drink water before every meal – get into the habit of drinking water at key points during your routine (feeding the baby, reading to the kids, making dinner or watching TV at night).