...more water, that is. Water intake is usually the very first thing we address in our nutrition consults at PYRAMID. It's a simple solution to a number of different problems and it could be a catalyst to you feeling your best. Let's talk about just a few of the benefits of getting more water in your system.
Digestion, nutrient processing, and weight loss
Water helps your body break down and absorb the nutrients you consume in your food. When you adjust your nutrition to fuel your body, making sure you get enough water is crucial to reaping the most benefits of the dietary changes you're making!
Drinking more water helps with the production of synovial fluid, the "lubricating" factor in your joints. This means less joint pain and less grinding during exercise. I've seen this firsthand, even in clients who were taking joint supplements. A week or so into getting the proper amount of fluid reduced joint pain drastically.
Making sure you're properly hydrated before, during, and after exercise can improve your overall performance. In short, this means fewer muscle cramps, lower risk of heat-related illness, and more efficient delivery of oxygen during your workout.
Blood pressure regulation
When you're hydrated, your heart can more efficiently pump blood throughout your body. When your water consumption drops, the blood becomes thicker (and there is less volume) so the heart has to work harder to perform the same function.
Your skin is about 64% water so it makes sense that skin health would have a lot to do with hydration. Proper hydration can not only enhance that "healthy glow" you get while working out, but it can also slow the signs of aging, flush out toxins, and reduce oil and acne.
The above are just a handful of reasons to get more water in your system. There are many other benefits as well, such as hormone regulation, increased brain and spinal cord health, and reduced effects of asthma and allergies.
So, how much water should I drink?
In short, it depends. The Mayo Clinic
recommends 3.7 Liters per day for men (or about 1 gallon) and 2.7 Liters per day for women (or about 3/4 gallon). That's a good place to start. From there, you should be adding in water to replace what you lose during your workout. You should also be mindful of hot and/or dry days where you may be perspiring more than usual or when your skin is dry. A gallon per day may seem like a lot, but you can do it! Start by adding one cup above what you're drinking now and, next week, add another cup per day.
P.S. Coffee and tea don't count toward your water consumption!