Us humans are made up of over 60% water. So it goes without saying, staying hydrated is a must for achieving and sustaining an optimal health status. For anyone looking to increase lean muscle mass or burn fat (or both) ensuring you hit your daily water target should be one of your first ports of call.
It’s needed in the body for many important tasks, including:
– Transportation of oxygen and nutrients
– Joint lubrication
– Flushing harmful toxins and body waste, mainly through urination
– Helping the brain to manufacture hormones and neurotransmitters
– Regulating body temperature
– Organ function
– Fat burning
Put the following simple tips into practise to ensure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water each day.
Hit your daily water target
Aim for 0.033L per KG of bodyweight per day. Of all the water intake recommendations out there, I would recommend this formula. It’s a sufficient amount, yet sustainable.
For a 75kg individual this would be: 0.033L X 75 = 2.4L per day
Carry a water bottle everywhere you go
This is such a simple behaviour, that will have a huge impact on your health status and goals. Take it to work, shopping, meetings, class, social events – everywhere means everywhere, not just the gym. If you have water to hand, you’ll be more likely to drink it.
Buy a large gallon jug
Pre-measuring the amount of fluid you need to hit your target, and filling it up at the start of the day into a gallon jug is useful as you’ll always know where you are and how far you’ve got to go. If you find this too daunting, purchase a couple of one litre bottles and fill them up at the start of the day with your pre-measured water target.
Spike your drinking water with electrolytes
You won’t notice they are there, but electrolytes can help expedite the absorption of your fuilds. If you’re not drinking your water around meal times, spike it with a pinch of electrolytes. This will ensure you’re thoroughly hydrated.
Add a slice of lemon or lime
Adding a slice of lemon or lime not only makes your water more interesting to drink, it can also aid digestion and alkalise the body. Consuming lots of meat combined with heavy weight training in the gym can shift your body into an acidic state. So think of this as helping to balance the body’s PH.
Make some fruity ice cubes
Taking the previous point a step further why not try making these fruity ice cubes.
Create drinking cues
Something like setting an alarm on your phone once every hour and sipping 250ml of water is a great way to develop habits and keep on top of your intake.
Drink fruit squash
This point will probably come under fire very quickly, but before you criticise let me explain. Let’s take a client, currently their daily fluid intake consists of 4 cans of coke and a cup of tea. Do you think swapping the coke for fruit squash is a move in the right direction? Of course it is! Whilst not being the best, on a sliding scale of fluid quality, fruit squash is moving up a level on from coke. It will make water more interesting to drink without greatly effecting your overall calorie intake. Long term however, we would want to progress onto plain water, spiked with electrolytes with some lemon or lime slices. Just remember, small yet sustainable behaviour changes across your whole lifestyle soon add up to create one big, exciting change.