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H2…uh oh! by Onica Sinclair

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It’s an age-old question, “Am I getting enough water?”  Well, are you?  If you’re not, you should be.  Water has more of an impact on your overall health and weight loss than you think.  On average, men should have an average daily intake of 3 liters of water and women should have an average daily intake of about 2 liters of water.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to guzzle down actual liters of water; this can take into account the water you get from your foods rich in water like cucumbers, celery, green peppers, and tomatoes.  Taking in at least 2 liters of water in one day can increase your energy expenditure by 96 calories per day.  This is the equivalent to a 20 minute 3 mph walk or 20 minutes of yoga!  I like to start my day with 8 ounces of warm water with 2 tablespoons of natural lemon juice to help give my digestive system a kickstart, but throughout the day I like to sip on cold water or refrigerated Performance Inspired Ready 2Go.  Cold water throughout the day is usually best because the body needs to expend more energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.

There are many aspects of your health that increasing your water consumption can assist.  Some of the health problems that it helps to prevent are constipation and kidney stones.  Your digestive, renal, and urinary systems rely heavily on getting a healthy amount of water so when you’re running low, this can cause your urine to be dark or have a strong smell.  You always should aim for transparent yellow urine.  This is a sign that you have an adequate water intake.  Aside from your digestive, renal, and urinary systems, water can also help with skin and joints.  A healthy amount of water helps fight free radicals that cause premature aging of our skin and internal organs and since the human body is about 60% water, your skin needs proper hydration to remain clear and supple.  Water also helps to lubricate and cushion joints which is important for people of all ages, and especially those that partake in exercises that impact joints like running.

You may also notice that an increased amount of water can help with your weight loss journey.  Studies have shown that drinking water about half an hour before meals can reduce the amount of calories consumed and we all know that if we consume less calories and exercise more, this leads to weight loss.  Studies have also shown that drinking at least 17 ounces of water can temporarily boost your metabolism by up to 30% and curb your cravings and appetite.  And speaking of appetite, have you ever been “hangry”?  You might just actually be thirsty and your body is telling you it needs water.  Lack of adequate water or mild dehydration can impair your mood and concentration.  It can also lead to increasing headaches.  While affecting mental performance, it can also affect physical performance.  This is why it’s important to stay hydrated during a workout if you want to perform at peak levels.

You can usually follow the golden rule of 8×8.  8 ounces of water at least 8 times a day, but there are factors that you need to take into consideration when applying this rule.  Factors such as exercise, environment, health, pregnancy, and breast feeding are all important to think about when it comes to water intake.  If you are exercising, your body is losing hydration due to sweating so you’ll want to bump up the water.  Environment, such as being in hot or humid areas, can also increase how much water you drink.  Health issues such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and urinary/bladder infections are all reasons to drink more body since your body is losing fluids to sweats and expulsion and needs water to repair your body to get back to a healthy state.  Water is also especially important for women that are pregnant or breast feeding.  While the recommended amount of water intake for a woman of average activity is 2 liters, women that are pregnant or breast feeding need to increase this amount so the sake of their health and well-being, as well as that of the baby’s.

There is no magic formula to water intake.  If you’re thirsty or “hangry”, have a drink.  If you’re not thirsty anymore, stop.  During heat or exercise, drink enough water to compensate for fluids lost.  I always like to keep my Bubba water bottle on my desk and sip on it throughout the day.  I also like to make sure I have a cold Performance Inspired Ready 2Go Whey Protein Isolate Water (Watermelon Blast is my favorite!) in the fridge ready for me.  In the beautiful words of Nobel Prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, “Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium.  There is no life without water.”

 

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