The question of "How much water should I drink a day?" is a familiar one. The recommended amount of water is eight glasses of eight ounces of water per day -- that's 64 ounces of water each day -- a whopping half gallon!
Who makes these rules up and why do we follow them? So often we go to the gym, workout, then drink a ton of water without ever truly becoming hydrated. We mindlessly drink high amounts of water because some obscure authority told us we need eight glasses of eight ounces of water per day. That being said, if we were focused more on hydrating mindfully, we wouldn't be so thirsty.
Why are you drinking so much water?
You may be drinking several bottles of water at the gym, not because you're dehydrated, but because you're working out hard and perhaps your diet has left you genuinely thirsty. There are many reasons for why an individual will force themselves to drink loads of water. You may also be trying to quench your thirst with drinking plain old bottled water -- water that flushes out vitamins, minerals, enzymes and never completely replaces them. In fact, mineral water doesn't even come close.
If you think about it, how is this efficient? You focus on eating well all week, exercise, sweat excessively while simultaneously flushing out every essential vitamin and mineral you took in, simply by drinking the recommended 64 ounces of bottled water a day. It's insanity.
What is more, if you're drinking your water from a plastic water bottle you're likely storing that plastic in your liver, which has been shown in studies to contribute to fatty liver. This storage of plastic actually leads to gain weight, and is also counterproductive to your efforts. As a result, you're leaving the gym -- having worked your tail off for an hour or more dehydrated, toxic, and deficient, having to rely on your diet to replenish lost nutrients. If your diet isn't balanced and highly nourishing, you'll can never replace the nutrients you've lost.
An excerpt from EAT! -- Empower. Adjust. Triumph!: Lose Ridiculous Weight explains it like this:
"Drinking “eight glasses of water per day" is a rule of thumb propagated by the water industry. Not all of our water intake need come in the form of drinking bottled tap water. As I have stated in this book, the absolute best way for humans to get their water is to eat it. Water from a fruit and vegetable source has a high nutrient benefit that tap water doesn’t have. Fruits and vegetables are the only two food sources on earth that contain water and this benefit is provided for your advantage. When you “eat your water” you’re not only getting replenished, you’re getting nourished at a cellular level by a multitude of vitamins, minerals, natural enzymes and fiber built right in."
Always Drink According To Your Level Of Thirst
You might wonder then, how much water should I drink a day? Well, the answer is ridiculously simple: always drink according to your level of thirst. Let your body guide your replenishing, instead of forcing yourself to drink according to obscure guidelines. Hydrating is as much an individual thing as dieting. It's best to tune in to the signals of your body. That being said, if you find your mouth is dry in between sets, the most efficient way to hydrate at the gym, while truly quenching your thirst, is by naturally replacing vitamins, minerals and electrolytes as you train. Sound like a tall order? Nature's got you covered.
Fruit Contains Electrolytes
Thanks to mainstream media we've become conditioned to equate getting our electrolytes from Gatorade. Sadly, because of this conditioning, it isn't our first instinct to seek nature as a source of replenishing electrolytes -- we tend to reach for what's convenient instead of what's efficient -- then of course, there are those toxic plastic Gatorade bottles to deal with.
Generally, electrolytes are made up of sodium, potassium, calcium and bicarbonate. There are many natural foods that contain electrolytes. The simplest and most efficient way to replenish electrolytes at the gym is ridiculously easy. Simply squeeze the juice of one small lemon into your water.
Squeezing fresh lemon, into your water, especially in the morning;
- hydrates you more efficiently, so need to refill less while training.
- gently cleanses your liver
- replenishes your lost electrolytes
- decreases your thirst.
To avoid BPAs, and plastic toxicity it is always best to drink your water from a glass water bottle instead of a plastic water bottle. If you don't like lemon, you may add a squeeze of fresh lime or orange into your water bottle with the same amazing results.
Hydrating Doesn't Stop At the Gym
To continually hydrate yourself and restore essential trace minerals and other nutrients post-workout, simply increase your daily intake of fruits and leafy green vegetables, instead of drinking water. Eating mostly fruits and vegetables is incredibly hydrating and will only serve to fuel your workout.
Celery juice post-workout is a terrific way to replenish lost vitamins and mineral salts in one fell swoop, as well as calcium and silicon, which aid in the repair of damaged ligaments and bones. Celery is also rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron. Additionally cucumbers, apples, berries (especially wild blueberries), citrus or melons are excellent for hydrating post-workout. Feel free to add leafy greens liberally when making green juices or smoothies.
Remaining mindful of proper hydration at the gym by adding lemon to your water bottle as well as "eating your water" post-workout will serve to replenish your vitamin reserves, improve your recovery time by fifty percent, feed your muscles the glucose they need to repair themselves and grow, while maintaining or even improving your overall health.