Water is one of the most disregarded nutrients when it comes to exercise and proper diet. Many people workout tirelessly each day and maintain a clean and efficient diet. However, all of that means nothing if you’re not drinking enough water.
Just how important is water? Well, just a 2% decrease in body water can shrink the brain, affect concentration and neuromuscular coordination. Endurance, strength, and muscular response also decrease due to dehydration.
In recent years, it’s become common knowledge that eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is optimal for healthy hydration. However, this number is outdated. For the average person today, 13 to 15 glasses a day is more beneficial.
But it’s just water, right? What benefits can come from a few extra glasses of water each day? Shockingly, a lot…
Water is a transporter. Nutrients you consume need water to transport them into cells and organs, as well as muscles that you tear down at the gym. Water also lubricates joints and keeps them healthy under heavy stress due to weightlifting. Drinking more H2O suppresses appetite and can make you feel more full, therefore, making you forget about eating that last piece of pizza you had your eyes on. Healthier skin, better circulation, increased muscle tone, and improved energy are all added benefits of water.
The most important aspect of water might be the way it can reduce the risk of disease. Increased water intake has been shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, as well as lower bladder cancer by 50%, and even possibly reduce the risk of breast cancer. Water can also prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
So, whether you’re starting a workout program, going on a diet, or just sitting at your desk doing homework, water can still benefit you in many ways. Keep a bottle handy throughout the day and fill it regularly. If you’re at the gym and sweating hard, make a few extra trips to the drinking fountain between sets. You’re better off safe than sorry!