You know how there are about a zillion different diets out there (personally, I’m all about green smoothies and activated charcoal waters… see Pressed Juicery to the right!) yet the fads that inevitably go along with them, change faster than I buy shoes?
Here’s one constant in the midst of any diet you or ‘healthy meal plan’ you select: staying hydrated is a must.
Of course, there are plenty of misconceptions that make knowing exactly how to do that a bit convoluted. Here are 5 facts to help you stay hydrated—especially while doing any type of cardio.
1. You may not love drinking water, but water loves you.
After all, H2O accounts for 60-ish% of your entire body weight. Without it, you’re likely to suffer from poor digestion, not to mention, excessively high body temperatures when you exercise. And by excessive, I mean, ‘Hey, the lack of water could totally kill you!’
2. The 8:8 Rule? Mmm, not for everyone.
We’re all built differently. We have different jobs, different lifestyles and different favourite activities. So while 64 oz. is a common theme in health/fitness blogs, there are better ways to determine whether you are as hydrated as you need to be.
- If you’re doing cardio, are you drinking less than 1 bottle per hour?
- Do you lose a couple lbs. or more?
- Are you getting headaches after long stretches of activity or shortly after?
- Are you urinating less than 3x per day?
- If you answered yes to number 4, is it dark yellow?
Guess what, even one ‘yes’ to any of the questions above are your body reminding you, it’s not a desert. You need to be drinking water until you’re answering ‘NO!’ to questions 1-5.
3. What are you drinking?
On a Saturday night, I’d mean something entirely different. For the sake of this article, simply drinking some type of ‘fluid’ is not enough. A recent study had three groups of dehydrated athletes who were asked to drink approximately 2 liters of fluid two hours after exercising.
Group 1 drank diet soda, Group 2 drank water and Group 3 drank a sports drink. Results? Diet soda replenished 54% of fluid loss. Basic bottled water scored 10% higher, replenishing 64% of fluid loss. The third group who had a sports drink (these help replenish lost electrolytes) replenished 69% of fluid loss.
Can’t stand sports drinks? Me neither. I don’t consume a lot of sugar and most are too sweet. Here’s my go-to: Organic PediaVance®. While it’s technically meant for children, this all-natural electrolyte solution is perfect for adults as well. It’s made with real fruit juice (you can choose from apple or grape) and comes in small liquid-filled sticks. Add the contents to the water as directed and that’s it. PediaVance® restores and then helps to maintain proper hydration.
No, really. If you hate drinking water because there’s no flavour, put down the coke and head over to the water aisle in your grocery store. (If in doubt, every Whole Foods I’ve been in has carried it.)
There are no sugars. No calories. Just a light essence of fruity flavour. Whether you’re in the mood for Apple, Strawberry Kiwi, or even Lemon Cayenne, there’s a flavour in this line for pretty much everyone.
5. Salt fiends can rejoice.
While there are good reasons for limiting salt, if you’re healthy and athletic, salty snacks are great to have on hand after a hard cardio workout. Salt allows your blood cells to act as a sponge, which makes it easier for your body to replenish its water supply and prevent dehydration. Salted pumpkin seeds, please!