Hydration for beginners: 4 basic rules.
4 simple rules to know when, what and how much you need to drink in order to stay hydrated.
On the other hand, is not nearly as obvious as most people think, especially when the physical activity enters the equation. Since poor hydration can have negative effects on your performance, concentration and on your overall health, here are four basic but essential rules to help you stay hydrated.
The importance of proactive hydration
Before we talk to you about the rules, you must first understand the importance of hydration and why staying hydrated requires a proactive approach in eating well. Drinking enough water helps increase your energy level, it lubricates your muscles and joints, it prevents taking excess food, it also stimulates your intellectual abilities and it improves the overall quality of your health.
A deficiency of only ½ liter of water can lead to an increase in the level of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. You will then be in the midst of mood swings and you will not be at your best, whether at work, in the water or at home. So, if you are one of the people who have always given more importance to their diet than to their hydration, now is the time to focus on your liquid consumption by following these 4 rules:
Rule # 1: Men should drink at least 3.7 liters of fluid a day and women at least 2.7 liters.
The Institute of Medicine (or "IOM" for Institute of Medicine) recommends the quantity mentioned above as the minimum threshold for daily consumption. If you are unsure about your level of hydration, check the color of your urine. If it is clear, it means that you are hydrated enough. But if it is darker, similar to the color of the apple juice, it means that you are dehydrated. And if it is dark and cloudy, then you are extremely dehydrated. Here are some tips to make sure you drink enough fluids: invest in a reusable bottle of water that is free of BPA, and take it with you wherever you go; always have a glass of water on your bedside table; Track your daily fluid intake with an app or simply with a pencil and paper.
Rule # 2: Do not drink calories.
By "hydration" and "liquids" we mean drinks without calories. The most appropriate and effective method to keep your body hydrated is therefore to replace alcohol (obviously), soft drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks with water and natural tea only. This also allows you to reduce your intake of calories and unnecessary sugars. However, sports drinks tend to confuse most people. Should we drink it or not? Let's get this clear: sports drinks are designed to provide your body a boost of energy during intensive sports sessions, and not to satisfy the basic hydration needs.
Rule # 3: Drink 500 ml of water (minimum) as soon as you wake up.
If your first drink of the day is that big black coffee that you need to wake up, know that you're already missing out on a great opportunity to hydrate yourself. Whether you're thirsty or not, after 6 to 8 hours of sleep, your body is dehydrated. Having enough water in your system also boosts your metabolism and promotes the transport of essential nutrients within your body. In addition, by drinking enough water, then upon waking up it will help your body and especially the organs to eliminate the toxins stored overnight.
Rule # 4: Integrate the hydration into your training program.
Staying hydrated during exercise is something that you should also consider. And that does not mean you just need a bottle of water near your training mat in case you are thirsty at two thirds of your session. The day of your training, it is pretty clear that you should drink enough fluid, and this should be done before, during and after your session. It may seem extreme, but losing the body weight by losing your body's fluids can affect your performance and put your overall health at risk. If you do not want to suffer from headaches of reminding or worse, then set an alarm to remind you to drink 500 ml of water 1 hour before your session, then a few sips before starting, also during your session enjoy a break to take a few sips. During your physical preparation, drink 100 to 200 ml every 15 minutes along your training and another 500 ml at least within one hour after the end of your training.
It's simple, but it's not always easy. Follow these rules and stay always hydrated !