How much water do YOU drink?
 

How much water do YOU drink? If you don’t know, it’s probably not enough. If you are making a guess, it’s probably not accurate. If you are not drinking enough water, your nutrition plan and fitness program will, without question, be much less effective in transforming your body than if you were drinking enough.

I was very surprised at how many people have been in and out of the gym without their water bottle. 

When you stop to think about it, water constitutes 65% to 70% of the human body. A person can abstain from food for months (why would you even want to do that), but can only last a couple of days without water and only 6 minutes without oxygen.

In the diet, water is a very important component in losing fat and keeping it off. You heard that right!

Did you know…..

1. Fat Metabolism
Water is not only a natural appetite suppressant, but it actually helps the body metabolize stored fat. When the body does not have a good supply of water to draw from to perform required physiological tasks, it will draw water from inside the bodies cells, including fat cells, in order to perform the desired tasks. Any fat stores in the body that are drawn on for water, are less likely to be mobilized and burned off as energy, resulting in increased fat stores over time if you were to remain in a constantly dehydrated state. Water is the key to ridding the body of fat through increased metabolic function. Drink up and rev up that metabolism.

2. Constipation Can Occur
When the body receives too little water, it will rob what it needs from other sources (primarily the glands). The colon is one primary source, hence constipation. It’s a rough day when back up builds up. Pure water will eliminate many impurities and toxins from the body through the urine and the stool. A normal amount of water will decrease the likelihood of colon cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer by 70%!

3. Muscle Tone
Water maintains proper muscle tone by giving muscles their ability to contract. Water delivers oxygen to the muscles and helps the body perform more efficiently.

4. Healthy Skin
Water, along with the essential fats and minerals, prevents sagging skin and returns health and resiliency. Age and genetics will happen of course, but I’m a firm believer you can combat these two, delaying the onset with a healthy lifestyle.

5. Provides Energy
Water is an instant energy pick-me-up. Dehydration leads to fatigue because it impacts the flow of oxygen to the brain and causes your heart to work harder to pump oxygen to all of your bodily organs.

So drink up, folks!

It’s important to hydrate not just after your workout but to also ensure that you are hydrated before working out as well. Sweat evaporation during a workout is a key thermoregulatory mechanism, but exercising to exhaustion when you have a fluid deficit can lead to many physical problems, such as fatigue [1]. Individuals can lose 800 mg or more of sodium per liter of sweat, making replacement vital [2].

So what does this mean? Although we praise drinking lots of water to all of our members, plain drinking water may not be enough for you during our workouts. The key missing factor? Electrolytes. If you eat a very unprocessed diet and stay physically active, you may want to consider drinking electrolyte-rich fluids before, during and after your workouts.

Why Water Is Not Enough

Common sense tells us that if we are losing water through our skin (aka sweat) and we are hot and thirsty, that we should drink plenty of water to rehydrate ourselves. But chugging water post-workout may not be enough to get your system back into pre-workout harmony. In fact, a strong case can be made that it’s not ideal to try to hydrate with just plain old water, since water is not the only substance our bodies need to achieve optimal levels of hydration. When you drink plain water, the electrolytes in your tissues are diluted; so in effect, drinking plain water by itself can relieve thirst while actually dehydrating you [3].

Electrolytes 101

So what exactly are ‘electrolytes’? Electrolytes are chemical substances that when dissolved in water transform into ions, which are molecules to help conduct electrical impulses throughout the body. Without them, the muscle would not be able to contract and the brain would not be able to function. A deficiency in electrolytes can adversely affect your health and water cannot exist in your tissues without them [3].

Luckily for us, getting in pre- and post-workout electrolytes is an easy fix and there are many options that you can choose from that suit both your taste buds and your dietary needs.

Sports Drinks – Skip the Bottle!

A very popular option, sports drinks have been around for decades (Gatorade came out in 1965), with the purpose of helping athletes replace water, electrolytes and energy after training or competition. Sports drinks do contain the important element of electrolytes; but unfortunately, many of these drinks also contain high amounts of calories and sugar, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Not only is this not suitable for those who are trying to stick to a clean diet, but the additional chemical additives can leave the body dehydrated and metabolically imbalanced [3].

Coconut Water

Coconut Water is a natural way to rehydrate without any additional chemical additives. Unlike sports drinks, coconut water is low in carbs and is a rich source in electrolytes and natural salts, especially potassium and magnesium. Although it’s considered low in carbs, one small container of coconut water can average around 15g of sugar, so this option may not be the best choice for those who are concerned about their body composition goals.

Electrolyte Tablets

As a runner during my pre-CrossFit days, I discovered the joy that is electrolyte tablets. You can buy them at most vitamin and sports shops and they are pretty easy to use; you just drop a tablet into your liter of water and wait patiently for it to dissolve. Nuun tablets, one of the most popular brands today, cost around $7 for a small, portable container of 8 single serving tablets, and they come in an array of different flavors.

Take Your Water with a Grain of Salt

The last option is pretty simple – just add salt to your drinking water. This is my favorite option, so hear me out before you make a cringe face at the thought of drinking salty water! Salt works well as an electrolyte; it is composed of 40% sodium and 60% chloride and when dissolved in fluids, the sodium possess a mild electrical charge, making it an electrolyte [3]. One teaspoon of salt (5,000 mg) provides about 2,300 mg of sodium. Not only is it a natural ingredient but you probably have some form of salt lying around your kitchen as we speak – so no need to run out to spend money on sports drinks, coconut water or Nuun tablets. You simply put a couple of pinches of salt in your drinking water throughout the day and you are good to go.

Find What Works For You!

So which option is best?

Prior to an intense workout, mixing a teaspoon of good quality Himalayan salt in one liter of water will help improve thermoregulation, increase plasma volume and reduce risk of hyponatremia. We recommend Himalayan salt over processed table salt because it tends to contain other minerals that are important to your health.

Post-workout, electrolyte tablets are probably one of the best options for the sweaty CrossFitter; one tablet will help replenish any sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium lost through sweat. Replenishment of these four key nutrients are all important to your overall health and performance.

I encourage all of you to give it a go and report any positive results that you may notice!

Coach Graham

References

1. http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/PrinterFriendly.aspx?ID=1162&lang=EN

2. http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-sodium

3. http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/489/The_Wisdom_of_the_Waterboy.aspx

 

WOD 110816

Did you vote yet?

2 Min of Single/Double Under
Agility Ladder - Burpee Challenge
Two Rounds:
20M Walking Lunge with Twist
10 Leg Swings (Front/Back & Side/Side)
Inch Worm Progressions
16 Mountain Climbers (8/side)

Mobility
Hamstring Stretch Band - Lay on back, band around the foot, leg straight
Thoracic Stretch over PVC
LAX Shoulder

Metcon (5 Rounds for reps)

Every 5 minutes, for 25 minutes (5 sets), complete as many reps as possible in 3 minutes of:
5 Burpee Toes to Bar
(perform a burpee, immediately followed by a toes to bar)
Run 400 Meters
Max Reps of Bar Muscle-Ups – or – Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups – or – Pull-Ups

Rest 2 minutes, and repeat when the clock strikes the next five-minute interval for a total of five sets.

Cash Out

Max push ups

Out of Town WOD

“ANNIE” 50-40-30-20-10 REP ROUNDS FOR TIME: DOUBLE-UNDERS SIT-UPS

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