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Dublin: 8 °C Tuesday 26 September, 2017
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6 simple habits to make sure that you drink enough water

Staying hydrated is one of the basics. David Last explains how to get it right.

OVER THE COURSE of my weekly articles, I am sure you are aware by now on the importance of getting the basics right when it comes to your health and fitness goals. A lot of time, I find people will read fitness articles and columns trying to find nuggets of complex information that might just help them out even more but believe it or not, if you start to get the basics right while adding in a few extra small tweaks, then you are truly on the right track.

Water is essential for life. We need it every day, and realistically, you should be drinking at least 2.5-4 litres daily. I have mentioned before about how you need to dial in the basics first before you start getting more complex and tailored with your goals. Basic things like quality sleep, good basic nutrition along with the right hydration levels are key to get right early doors until they become an ingrained healthy habit.

You will be surprised at the amount of people who are going about their day dehydrated and are still wondering why their performance in the gym is poor or perhaps why they haven’t attained their goals. If you are unsure about whether or not you are dehydrated, then you could use a simple urine chart to measure what level you are at.

Drinking water is essential if you want to have strong and lean body, but more importantly, it is crucial in just about every human function from concentration, digestion, contraction, relaxation, blood flow, and mood.

A lot of clients I work with are surprised when it comes to the results shown after truly tracking their hydration levels during the course of the week. Most people think they are drinking enough water in the day. However, when you break it down and measure it, you can see many pockets in their day when they are dehydrated.

Here are simple ways you that will help you work up the right amount of water to drink without having to let it take over your every thought of the day.

Start your day with water

As soon as you get up drink a pint of water. You should be aiming to get at least 2.5 litres of water in during the day and once you do this then you are already one quarter of the way there. Starting your day with water is a good healthy habit that will help activate your internal organs along with aiding the removal of any toxins before your first meal of the day, which is something that will only benefit you with long term.

Buy a big bottle

Get yourself a 1.5-2.5 litre bottle of water and know how much you need to get through over the course of your day. Many supplement stores now stock many large bottles which are BPA free. I have also found that using a bottle as below, showing the times and volume needed for your day, is another way of creating a good habit.

waterbottlemarkedwithtime3

On warm days add some extras to your water

Another important point that I picked up from working with athletes abroad in warm climates was having access to some form of electrolytes for your sessions. Sometimes water isn’t sufficient enough for performance on warm days and you need to bring in some electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.

Some sports drinks are a good option, or even adding sachets of Dioralyte or salt to your water works well for pre-, during or post-session. Your recovery from a hot summer’s day training session is quite important and will only set you up the right way for your next session reducing the risk of burnout, cramp or injury.

Flavour your water

Some people just don’t like water and find it very bland and boring. The likely result here is that you really won’t get enough fluids in your day. My advice for those people is simple: try to change it up a little bit by adding extras like fruit, cucumber or even mint to make it that bit more interesting for you.

Arm’s distance away

Throughout your day aim to keep your bottle within arm’s length.At your desk, beside you in your car, or even around you during your session will be a constant reminder to take small sips every 20 minutes throughout the day.

Post session/recovery

It is important to measure your weight and sweat loss before and after your session if you are finding yourself training in the heat of the day. It’s the simplest way to know how much you need to drink to recover. One litre of sweat is roughly equivalent to 1kg of body weight loss. You need to drink 1.2-1.5 litres for each kg of weight lost during exercise.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a message from the links below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.

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David Last

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