Health and Beauty

Have New Year Fitness Goals? Start with Water.

Water helps improve workouts and detox your body.

What does water have to do with meeting your fitness goal? A lot. Water is an essential component of your physical health. Hydration impacts your energy levels, immune system, digestion and how well you are able to recover from workouts.
Elitia Barnes writes blogs about clean water and water filtration systems for LifeSource Water Systems. Elitia Barnes

Let’s start with the water you drink

Considering we all already have water flowing from our home faucets, why do so many people go through the hassle and cost of keeping their pantries stocked with bottled water?  Many people buy bottled water because they think it is better than tap water.   But it turns out that bottled water isn’t necessarily the best source of quality water.  Some bottled water is actually acidic.  When the pH of water is below 7 then it is considered acidic. This can happen when the water has been purified to remove natural minerals.  Some amount of minerals are necessary to balance out the pH level of water.  When you drink acidic water, it will try to re-balance its pH by leaching minerals from your body and can wear down your teeth enamel.

In other research, scientists found a significant amount of micro-plastic in multiple brands of bottled water.  Micro-plastic is exactly what it sounds like: plastic that has become so small you can’t see it.  This means, even if you can’t it, there is a good chance your bottled water contains at least trace amounts of micro-plastic.

Or maybe you prefer bottled water because it tastes better.  That’s because over 95% of tap water in the United States is disinfected using chlorine and ammonia. These chemicals can make tap water taste bad or even smell like a swimming pool.  Chlorine and chloramines aren’t that great for your skin and hair either – drying out your skin and stripping your hair of moisturizing oils.  So what water should you drink? 

The best way to get quality water is to filter your tap water at home.  Not only do you save time, space and money when you stop buying cumbersome cases of bottled water, you also have the reassurance that your water is filtered to your standards.  A salt-free whole house water system lets your drink, use and shower in water free from common chemicals, dirt and any lingering bacteria.  Rather than buying bottled water or installing bulky under-counter systems, you can transform all the water that flows through your home with one simple system.

More Efficient Workouts

To have a truly effective workout, you need to hydrate.  You will maximize your performance and improve muscle recovery when you are consistent about replenishing your water loss.  Hydration directly correlates with your blood volume.  As you exercise, you lose water through sweat, lowering the amount of water in your bloodstream.  When your blood volume is lower, your heart must work harder to pump blood and maintain healthy circulation.  Your muscles need that increased supply of oxygen from your blood flow while you exercise.  Dehydration while working out can mean muscle cramps, spasms and cause you to unintentionally strain your body.  Water is also necessary to generate the proteins that repair muscle tears and help you get stronger.

Healthy Liver and Kidneys

Without water, your body wouldn’t be able to detox.  Your liver and kidneys depend on water to filter your blood and remove toxins and waste from the body.  Over the course of 24 hours, your kidneys process around 200 quarts of blood.  Your kidneys then re-circulate beneficial nutrients and vitamins back into your bloodstream.  Everything else gets released through your urinary tract.  Having a healthy liver plays a key role in boosting your metabolism and helps you burn fat efficiently. 

Stronger Immune System

Supporting your immune system goes a long way in being able to sustain an active lifestyle.  Most days you may be unaware of all the ways your body fights off infection, but our immune system is constantly protecting us from getting sick.  The adult human body is around 60% water, so it makes sense that when you are dehydrated your immune system is thrown out of whack. In order to defend your body from foreign invaders, your body produces a fluid called Lymph - a fluid that consists of water, proteins and white blood cells.  Lymph circulates throughout your body, capturing harmful bacteria (called antigens) and delivers them back to your Lymph nodes to be destroyed.  So be a team player - give your lymphatic system the water it needs to function optimally.

Smooth Digestion

There are two basic components of reaching a fitness goal: moving your body and eating nutritious foods. How well your body digests and absorbs the nutrients from food makes a big difference in your everyday health.  Water carries food through your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and helps your body absorb nutrients through your intestinal lining.  When you are dehydrated, it’s harder for your body to process foods, which can leave you feeling bloated or constipated.  

Drinking water before a meal can also help curb the urge to over-eat.  Before reaching for a second helping, give your body a moment to start digesting and maybe have some water to help it along the way. 

Stronger Joints

To keep your body physically fit, you need strong cartilage and healthy joints. Cartilage cushions your joints to protect your bones from friction and absorb shock when you move.  And guess what?  Cartilage is over 70% water. When cartilage is dehydrated, it becomes less soft and flexible.  Once again, water is an essential component for sustained health and mobility.

Now Start Hydrating

As we’ve learned, water is just as important to your fitness goals as a new pair of sneakers. Always remember to hydrate before, during and after your workout. You can avoid stomach cramps by drinking a glass of water (aim for 8 ounces) 1/2 hours before you begin your workout.  During your workout, replenish your water loss by drinking water every 10-20 minutes.  The exact amount of water you need every day depends on various factors like your weight, body temperature and how much you are exerting yourself physically.  A good trick for remembering to drink water is to get a refillable water bottle. Keep it with you throughout your day and see how many times you can finish a full bottle.  If you have a 24oz water bottle, try aiming to finish three full bottles of water a day and see how you feel.

 

The great thing about drinking water is that the more hydrated you are, the easier it will be for you to tell when you become dehydrated.  You will start to notice more quickly when you need a sip of water and it will become a wonderful healthy habit.  Keeping your body hydrated will help you feel great and reach any fitness goals.

 

 

 

 

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