Spoiler alert, there is no such thing as a secret potion. If you think that there is some magic elixir that you can consume and your training will get exponentially better YOU ARE WRONG. But as with all of our articles The Strength Agenda’s goal is to provide you with the tools of the trade that are simple yet effective. This is one of those tools, and probably the most overlooked of them all.
In the world of advertising and marketing you cannot avoid a company promoting you their sports drink, energy drink, beer, soda, or mixable powder. Gatorade makes it seem that as you consume their product your insides will light up and you will be able to all of suddenly beat your opponent. Pepsi will make Sofia Volgera hunt you down, and any beer commercial makes you feel like you will more of a socialite. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a glass of Cheerwine from time to time, but it is not a constant. Most of these drinks are loaded with A LOT sugar and empty calories. For those who don’t know, an empty calorie is a unit of energy with a poor nutritional profile. These are usually found in processed carbohydrates and fats. Anyways, what the problem with this you ask? Why drink your calories when you could be eating them?
In my diet, my liquid consumption consists of two, sometimes three, things: Coffee, tea, and water. The latter is the most important. Since my days of pee wee football I have always had a water bottle in my hand. The more I train and am on the go, the more water I drink. It is the most important aspect of your diet and it is also the most overlooked.
First things first. You’re brain is the made up of mostly water, so by drinking more water you can focus and concentrate better, and allows you to be more alert during the day. Sure a cup of coffee can increase alertness, but only for a short period of time. With your brain firing on all cylinders from being well hydrated your energy levels and productiveness go up as a result. Drink more water.
It can also you help lose weight. I’m not talking Biggest Loser 20 pounds in one shot, but it’s effects on the body can help with weight loss. Consuming plenty of water throughout the day and before meals can help fill you up and not allow for overeating. By drinking enough water your body will also be able to regularly flush itself out. By sweating or urinating your body is able to get rid of waste and toxins on a more regular basis. Bottom line, water helps maintain regularity by aiding in digestion and reducing constipation (nobody wants that right?). It has also been shown that the more hydrated you are the more efficient your metabolism operates. Plus, it’s zero calories! Now we’re talking.
On top of these all of this a water guzzler is less likely to get sick. If you stay hydrated you can keep yourself healthy most of the time. There will always be those random factors that will get you sick, but for the most part, hydration = sick less. People who drink more water also tend to have better skin. Hydrated skin is softer, smoother, and usually has less wrinkles.
The last thing and most important (to me) is that the more water you drink the better your body feels. Good hydration helps keep your joints lubricated and moving more fluidly. It also decreases the amounts of cramps and strains by keeping your muscles loose and more elastic. Drinking enough water before, during, and after training can make or break you having a great session or being in a bad mood because things didn’t go according to plan.
As with any tip we give you, drinking more water is not the answer to all your training woes. It is simply another little thing you can do every day that will make you physically feel better. Throughout any given day I drink 1-1.5 gallons of water a day. That may be a little extreme but when I don’t get enough water in me I can feel it later in the day and into part of the next day. I’ll feel sluggish in my movements or will get a massive headache when i don’t consume enough water. So in order to feel less crappy throughout the day, drink more water. My challenge to you is this. Get yourself a water bottle (either a glass container or one that is BPA free) and drink and refill the container four times (at least) through out the day. You WILL notice a difference. Sure you will probably visit the bathroom more often, but in my opinion it’s a small price to pay for better health, so drink up.