8 Surprising Ways Water Is Negatively Affecting Your Fitness Progress

by Scott Graham
3rd Nov 2018

Water. It’s vital for every bodily process and the best thing you can consume to improve your health. Most people exercise, eat healthily, avoid smoking and other harmful substances, attend regular health and dental checks etc., but the most simple and free thing, drinking water, they don’t do it. Why?

Here are 8 reasons why not drinking enough water may be stopping you from achieving your fitness goals:

Did you know… approx. two-thirds of the human body composition is water? Here’s the break down… brain = 90% water; blood = 83% water; muscle = 75% water; bone = 22% water.

Imagine this: Your brain is composed of 90% water. That leaves only 10% actual brain matter! If you’re not drinking enough water it won’t function effectively, you’ll lose concentration, feel tired, the brain and body will have to work harder to perform normal functions, meaning you’ll consume more energy faster and tire quicker. You may even get headaches; dry skin; muscle cramps; joint aches; gain weight due to a slower metabolism and lackluster digestive system, causing constipation; experience breathing problems or become forgetful. Remember: the brain controls everything.

How many of the above do you suffer from currently? Do you ever cancel workouts or not workout to the max. because of it?

Short version: it keeps you alive. Water plays an active role in regulating body temperature; protecting the vital organs and tissues; facilitating cellular regeneration and nutrient absorption; moisturising the air in the lungs; detoxifying; protecting and moisturising the joints; aiding metabolism, digestion and weight loss; alleviating headache tension; and determines how productive your workout is. Research shows that a person can survive for one month without food, but only a week without water. How long will you last based on your current behaviours?

There’s no clear-cut answer. Guidelines suggest 8 glasses daily, however this varies depending on how active you are as you lose water through sweat, urinating and breathing. This formula will help you to determine your personal requirements:

Formula: Your weight (lbs) divided by 2 = how much water you need (ounces). (Example: 160lb (your weight) divided by 2 = 80oz of water daily.)

Or in kilos… Your weight (kgs) divided by 30 = how much water you need (ltrs). (Example: 75kg (your weight) divided by 30 = 2.5ltrs of water daily.)

Unfortunately, the brain is good at detecting hunger, but bad at detecting thirst. When thirsty, the hypothalamus kicks in, saying 'it could be hunger' - must eat, must eat and therefore you eat. Consequently, we need to take responsibility and stay well-hydrated regardless of whether we think we’re drinking enough water or not. That way, we’ll only eat when we need to, and be far more in control of the types of food we’re consuming as we can regulate timings and nutritional values and avoid snacking. That helps to avoid weight gain and optimize muscle gain and fat loss to compliment your workout.

The same with drinks. Some drinks encourage water retention – not to be confused with hydration! – and dehydrate the body, especially alcohol. That’s why people who drink excessively often get the munchies afterwards and can’t understand their weight gain or why they’re struggling to get lean. Their hypothalamus is instructing them to eat rather than to drink water to RE-hydrate. It’s a very common problem. Breaking the cycle is key to getting back on track.

Try drinking a glass of water before each meal. A simple change, but it may help you lose weight.

Water is just water, right? Wrong! When drinking bottled water, consider its pH level. Pure water should be pH7, anything lower is acidic. Liquids with a You could also try making it a habit. The more you drink, the more it becomes second nature and your taste buds will adapt to enjoy it too. Try to drink some before, during and after exercising, and consistently throughout the day. Don’t just down 2ltrs in the morning and think 'that's me sorted.' We all know those people!

Buy a 2ltr bottle of water every morning. By the evening, it should be empty, if not, at least you’ll be aware of how much you drink and can progress from there. Snacking on fruits and vegetables that have high water contents will help too. Watermelon and marrows, for example, are top runners!! Think: Does the level on the bottle at the end of the day reflect how you feel about yourself and your energy levels? What about your overall body function?

Most people don’t realise it but regular water consumption protects against bladder and colon cancer. Research shows that increased water intake can dilute the concentration of cancer causing agents in the urine and minimises the time that the urine is in the bladder. Remember to urinate frequently to release toxins.

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