There is one thing all living beings have in common—we all need water to live. Whether you’re an active person or not, water is a vital part of life. Water makes up more than half of our bodies so without it, we can only survive a couple of days. This is why making sure you’re well hydrated all day everyday is so important!
Common signs you may be dehydrated include reduced sweating rate, dark urine, lightheadedness, dizziness, insatiable appetite, dry mouth, extreme thirst, and headaches. Basically, your first thought when you aren’t feeling quite right should be, “Have I drank enough water today?” because being dehydrated quickly leads to a number of negative effects on the body.
Dehydration decreases blood volume, performance of physical activity, blood pressure, sweating rate (meaning you will overheat quickly), cardiac output, and blood flow to the skin.
Dehydration increases your body’s core temperature, water and sodium retention, heart rate, use of muscle glycogen, and perceived exertion of physical activity.
So in order to avoid all the adverse effects of dehydration, make sure you’re following these water intake recommendations:
Drink at minimum 3 liters of water per day.
Consume at least 16 ounces of water 2 hours before training.
Drink 16 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of physical activity.
Consume at least 16 ounces of water after exercise.
*Note: if you sweat a lot, or if your workout is very intense, you will need to drink more water!
I used to struggle a lot with keeping myself hydrated, and as a result, I was in a constant state of lightheadedness. It’s easy to forget to drink water or just simply not want to because it can be so blah. Here are some tips on how you can make sure you’re consuming adequate amounts of water each day:
Chug at least 8 ounces of water first thing in the morning.
Carry a water bottle with you like it’s your cell phone.
Decrease your caffeine intake.
ALWAYS have a water bottle at the gym & drink water between every set.
Keep an empty, reusable bottle in your gym bag or car so you always have a backup.
Drink 8 ounces of water before every meal.
If you chronically feel fatigued, you could be living in a constant state of dehydration. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you drink an adequate amount of water each day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water—by that point you’re already dehydrated. Stay on top of it and take preventative action!