It seems like many things are important! To be honest if more people slept more / better and drunk enough water there would be a big improvement in health. I do consider them to be some of the 'big rocks' of a healthy lifestyle.
Whenever I have given a client a food log to fill in, I can almost guarantee that one of the big, glaring pitfalls is the lack of water they drink.
In having conversations with them, drinking water is almost treated like it’s some kind of inconvenience they have to suffer. Even if they “know” they should be drinking more, they just don’t or won’t.
Rather than rehash a post up about reasons why you should drink water, I’ll just attached these two links for you to read:
After reading those, honestly ask yourself “can I afford not to drink more water?”
Still not convinced? Try this on for size:
Nerdy Anatomy Background
The spine is mainly a support for the body’s weight and to protect the spinal cord. It’s comprised of a series of vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are structures called discs.
There are 23 discs in the spine and they have a tough outer portion and a soft core. This has led to them being compared to a jelly doughnut. The “jelly” part is a gel that is estimated to be approximately 80% water.
The purpose of these discs is to act as a shock absorber and to help the spine withstand loads going through it such as back squats, jumping and even some general moving about.
Dehydration and the spine
Being dehydrated, the discs are not able to absorb the same amount of shock going through them. The supporting structures in the back such as ligaments, muscles and the joints have to start taking on this work. This leads to the back / spine becoming less mobile.
Ultimately all of this can lead to an increased risk of hurting your back or suffering from back pain.
So another reason to make sure you’re getting enough fluids in!
There are a couple of guidelines as to how much water you should be drinking:
1)8 – 10 glasses of water – which is a standard recommendation and seen more and more as being outdated as it doesn’t take into account height, weight, sex, activity levels etc. So for example a 6’4 triathlete is going to have a much greater water demand than a 5’2 office worker.
2) ½ an ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. So for example if you weighed 140 pounds, you would need between 70 and 140 oz of water.
This is a handy little conversion tool if you need to work out how many litres that equates to:
It’ll be more than you think for!
3) Another quick reference, although a bit icky, is the colour of your urine. The darker the colour the more dehydrated you are. The lighter the colour the better for you and if it’s blue, seek medical assistance
Now we've looked at how much you should be drinking, I’ll give some ideas about helping to make sure you drink enough water during the day.
I've never been one to pad things out so to start with, here are a few key times to think about having some water:
1 When you first wake up
2 With meals
3 Mid morning – Mid afternoon – Evening
4 During and after workouts
5 I also encourage my clients to walk more as part of an overall health & weight loss boost. So before and after going for walks
There are also some other times you should think about taking water with you and you may not have even thought about:
6 If you plan on being out and about for an extended period. For example, if you go off shopping, you can easily be out for several hours. Take some water with you.
7 If you are going on any long journeys. For example, long drives, train journeys, bus trips etc, it pays to have some water handy.
8 Take a bottle of water to work with you and keep it on your desk as a constant reminder
9 If you’re out dancing and drinking, have a few glasses of water
I understand that it can look like a lot of water to drink and you’re asking “How on earth will I remember all THAT?”. With my clients, I like to use a compliance sheet and encourage them to keep it with them or keep it visible so it acts as a constant reminder to keep drinking plenty of water.
The other thing you may be thinking to yourself, after reading the last post, is “I can’t possibly drink all that!!??!”. It isn’t easy to go from hardly drinking water to trying to drink 2 – 3 litres. That is why I like to regress the goals to something manageable for clients. From there, then try to snowball it until they are able to drink more.
In essence, I have the mentality that 4 glasses of water drunk consistently is better than 6 glasses drunk never as a starting point.
This is my, mostly, Personal Trainer musings and information which I hope you'll find helpful!