Staying hydrated may be more important than you think when it comes to your own wellbeing. It is recommended that we should be drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, however everybody is different so listen to your body as you may need more then 6-8 glasses especially if you are working out on a regular basis.
A good way to check if you are drinking enough water is to check the colour of your urine. If it is colourless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or an amber colour you may be dehydrated.
Our metabolism is also directly affected by how hydrated or dehydrated we are. As water is involved with almost every biological function within the body, if we are not getting enough water in and our body is in a dehydrated state our metabolism will slow down. The rate at which our muscles then burn calories will also dramatically slow down. Over 70% of our muscles consist of water and when they are not fully hydrated their ability to generate energy is severely reduced.
Another important and slightly scary factor to take into consideration is that when you are dehydrated your body's ability to utilise fat as a fuel source also becomes restricted. So with these two factors alone you will have one slow metabolism!!
Dehydration can cause a number of negative side effects to your metabolism and your body which can then effect your weight loss or performance goals, so staying on top of how hydrated you are should never be over looked and should be one of your priorities along side your healthy diet.
Here are some simple and easy tips to help ensue that you stay on top of your water consumption and keep your body hydrated.
Always carry a water bottle
Having a water bottle with you during the day is a great reminder to drink water. By taking small regular sips throughout the day, your body will be able to hold on to the fluids and absorb them as opposed to drinking whole glasses of water at a time and then needing to pee them out every 20 minutes.
Keep your water bottle in your handbag while shopping, in your cup holder in the car, on your desk at work and especially keep in on you before, during and after the gym.
Also buy a larger water bottle, 1 - 2L and aim to get through the whole thing once or twice per day. Filling up and having your own bottle handy will also save you $4 every time you feel like having a sip from the over priced store bought water.
Coconut water not only tastes great but also contains natural electrolytes including potassium and sodium which are great to help you rehydrate after a hard gym session. Sports drinks like Gatorade contain a lot of unnecessary added sugars, calories and artificial colours so replacing these drinks with coconut water is a much healthier option. While coconut water has many other added benefits such as Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese, most of the calories in it are made up of natural sugar so limit the amount of coconut water you do end up consuming.
Drinking a nice hot cup of herbal tea is another way to drink more water and is also great substitute for coffee. Herbal tea has been proven to help with a variety of things such as relaxation, digestion, bloating, soothe the stomach and alleviate cold symptoms while also providing antioxidants. A few great tasting and aromatic teas to have on hand are peppermint, camomile, lemongrass, cinnamon, ginger and lavender. You can also make up a jug of iced tea and enjoy some refreshing flavour on warmer days.
As the weather is starting to warm up a ditch the soft drink and grab an ice cold sparkling water. It still gives you the bubbles without all the extra calories. Try adding a squeeze of citrus like lemon, lime or orange and a couple of ice cubes or some summer fruits like strawberries, watermelon, lychees or peaches.
Being adequately hydrated throughout the day will help you to get through your training sessions without needing constant water breaks. It will also help to prevent dizziness, a dry mouth or headaches during your sessions.
Aim to drink small portions 100-200ml consistently through out the day. Realising you haven't had a drink all day and downing a whole litre before you go to bed will do nothing but have you getting up to pee in the middle of the night.