WHAT IS UP? THE SUN. THAT’S WHAT’S UP.
But for real, if you’re in the south, hopefully you’re enjoying this sunshine and warmer weather that we are finally consistently getting. It’s the best. This weekend I’ll be in Pensacola for a CrossFit competition, and I cannot wait to be on that pretty beach.
But with spring time finally showing up, and summer on the way, we need to make sure we are being smart about….well, a lot of things. But one of those things is WATER!
But before we get into it, here is a disclaimer (very similar to last week’s): I want to be clear. I am not a nutritionist. And more than that, I haven’t put in the grueling hours or practice to become a “dietitian” either. BUT I want to help people (and in the process, help myself) with nutrition! I am always learning. I’m at the gym coaching, training others, working out, or maybe even hanging out every morning and every evening. It’s fun. But I also have a couple of hours in the middle of the day, most days to read and try and learn a thing or two. This of course comes after I make sure I’ve had food, and the kitchen is clean, and laundry is folded and done. It’s a tough life, but I guess someone has to do it!
Ok, so last week we talked about nutrition being the foundation of any workout or fitness plan we want to begin. Today we are talking about water. Because many of us (myself included sometimes) aren’t drinking enough water. And this can throw a lot more off than just our pee color.
So….WATER! High quality H2O is what I’m talking about.
Water is muy importante. (we have a good bit of people at CFEC who speak Spanish now, so I’m learning). You and I should care about water if we want to feel good, look good, see results, perform well in the gym, and feel good outside the gym. I’ll give you some reasons why below.
Our bodies lose water throughout the day – through sweat and pee. So, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves by replenishing and replacing what we’ve lost throughout the day. Without water, our bodies would shut down.
Why Water is LIFE:
- It regulates our body temperature.
- It flushes out toxins.
- It helps you to digest your food appropriately.
- It helps our muscles to function (think everything from day to day functions in our life, job, and with our family, as well as seeing results in the gym).
- It can regulate or even speed up our metabolism
- It can help you to feel fuller and more satisfied when maybe you don’t need that extra taco. And when we get dehydrated, we can be tricked into thinking we are hungry when we really aren’t.
- I read somewhere that water boosts your immune system.
- Can we also all agree that a hydrated face looks way better than a dehydrated face? As in water literally gives you life.
Ok, so…I FREAKING LOVE WATER. I can drink water anywhere. I’m not picky. I don’t need those special little crystal light packets or whatever to make me drink water. I genuinely love the taste (is there a taste?) and how it just makes my body feel. However, despite carrying a 32 oz Nalgene bottle everywhere with me, I struggle to be still enough to get all my water for the day in.
How to Work it:
- First of all, know that everyone is different. Just like your food and calorie intake, you need to make sure you are getting enough water to support your lifestyle. For example, if you worked out today for let’s say 1 hr. Maybe your workout involved being outside in the sun. Maybe it involved some running. Maybe you even threw a vest on because if you do CrossFit, tis the season (if you know, you know). Well, you need to drink more water than let’s say, Mary over here who went to work in an air conditioned office all day long and never made it to the gym. This is because you pushed yourself and probably sweated a little bit somewhere in there. You need to replace what you lost with water.
- A good starting point for the average person who stays active and isn’t afraid to sweat a little, is this…take your body weight. Then take that number (in lbs.) and divide it by 2. This is your starting point. For example, if you are a 200 lb male, you need to be getting at least 100 oz of water a day. <—-I learned this at CFEC a long time ago, and it always stuck with me.
- Make sure you drink water WHILE you exercise as well 🙂
- If you have a special health condition, or if you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about how much you should be drinking.
- A good way to know if you are drinking enough water is to check out the color of your pee. If it’s clear or light yellow, you’re good. If you rarely feel thirsty, you’re probably good. Remember, we never want to “overdo” it either. Drinking an EXCESSIVE amount of water is never a good thing (I actually did that once). When in doubt, pay attention to how you feel, and never be scared to ask a coach, trainer, or someone who knows these things.
- Carry a water bottle around with you everywhere you go! You don’t have to carry a gallon jug or anything, BUT carry something bigger than let’s say 16 oz so you don’t keep running out. I prefer a 32 oz nalgene bottle, and I would be lost without it.
- Try to drink a cup or two of water a day— first thing!!
- Set reminders in your phone, Gmail calendar, or other tracking device. It may sound obsessive, but some people work better that way.
- Apparently drinking through a straw will help you get more water in. I read that somewhere. I don’t use one.
- If you need it, enhance your water with MIO drops or fresh fruit.
- Stay away from coffee until you’ve had water. Coffee is also life, and it should be consumed black if you want to live your best life (for most people). However, if I don’t get some water in FIRST, and just go straight to coffee, I feel dehydrated, dizzy, and pretty crappy. I have to be really on top of this on the mornings I coach first thing.
- While we’re at it, stay away from sugary soft drinks too – like gatorade, powerade, etc. Just drink water. I won’t get too much into this, but let me know if you have questions about electrolyte supplements. <and let me know if you personally take anything you like, while we’re at it>.
- Try sparkling water – think La Croix. If you don’t like the first flavor you try, give another flavor a try. My favs are the Target exclusive KEY LIME, as well as the fresh berry, the mango one, and passionfruit.
- Eat veggies and fruits with a higher water content. I did a little research and found some good examples: lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, blueberries, and watermelon (duh).
Alright, that’s all I’ve got today!
In a nutshell, monitor how you feel as it heats up and you start to sweat more. If you feel crappy, maybe you need more water. Try drinking at least two glasses first thing when you wake up – before coffee!! And as always, let me know if you have any questions or input! I’d love to keep the convo going.