Most people are aware that water is the building block of life. If you need proof of this then consider the fact that you can go about a month without food but only survive a week without water. However, water doesn’t just keep us alive it also has many other lesser known benefits.
For instance, did you know that drinking more water can help keep you fit? If you are currently training or simply trying to become more fit then water is your best friend and this article will explain why.
The following sections present 5 solid reasons why water is necessary to any efforts you take to become more physically fit. When reading the points remember that water does not only help bodybuilders and gym addicts but everyone.
1. Drinking Water Improves Your Ability To Tolerate Pain
Constant dehydration can be the cause of conditions like fatigue, but did you know that being dehydrated also makes your pain ‘more painful’? A research study featured in the Journal of Psychophysiology shows that not drinking enough water can decrease your pain tolerance in a significant way.
The study involved 17 healthy male participants taking part in 2 separate tests. The first test required the participants to regularly drink water for 1 day and then not drink any water on day 2. After each test, the researchers made the participants put their feet in ice-cold water for up to 4 minutes.
The findings showed that participants were able to withstand the cold water longer when they were properly hydrated. However, their pain threshold drastically reduced when dehydrated.
This just goes to show how water can help reduce your pain sensitivity. This is especially important if you’re training or carrying out other physically demanding activities.
2. Water Helps You Burn Fat
Drinking enough water is vital to your kidneys being able to cope with extra toxins created by extra protein (and, possibly, creatine) in diets designed for weight gain. This type of waste will need to be dissolved with water.
However, if you are dehydrated and your kidneys are not able to adequately remove the waste, they will turn to your liver for help. This is a terrible thing to happen because one of the main duties of the liver is to metabolize fat for energy. But if the liver is busy helping your kidney then it won’t be metabolizing fat.In simple terms, not drinking enough water will mean your body is less efficient at burning fat tissue.
3. Water Helps You Maintain Good Energy Levels
Dehydration often leads to fatigue because your body gets tired a lot quicker if it has to work harder to function properly. Drinking enough water means that your body has enough resources to do things like regulate temperature and keep all your vital organs operating in top condition. When your body doesn’t have to work overtime to perform regular functions then you will find that you generally have energy to do other things.
4. Water Reduces The Urge To Eat
Many research studies show that people often confuse hunger with dehydration. The result of this confusion is over eating and the consumption of large amounts of empty calories. Of course, this is less than ideal if you’re trying to stay fit. Although proper hydration is not going to stop you from eating junk food, it can significantly reduce the chances of you eating when you are not actually hungry.
5. Water Keeps Your Body In Good Health And Peak Condition
Researchers from the University of Maastricht in Netherlands found that people who regularly experienced severe headaches and migraines improved symptoms by drinking more water. The study showed that drinking about 7 glasses of water each day was enough for them to see significant improvements.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when you consider that your body is between 55-65% water. Water is critical to the smooth running of all your key organs even down to basic things like preventing your mouth from getting dry.
If you’re putting your body under a lot of physical pressure and exertion then your need for water becomes even more critical. Don’t make the mistake of waiting to feel signs of dehydration – be proactive about drinking enough water so that your body can function at its peak.
Point 6 (Bonus). Water is Almost Always The Best Option
The market is flooded with so called energy boosting drinks, ‘sports drinks’ and ‘healthy’ juice options. They come with fantastic claims of amazing ingredients that will make your body perform better and achieve your desired fitness goals.
However, the sad fact is that many of these drinks, irrespective of how healthy they sound, come with plenty of processed calories and added sugar.
Plain water is almost always the best thing to drink. It comes with zero sugar, no artificial flavours, no processed calories and fulfils all your hydration needs. The best part is that water is often completely free too!
The Bottom Line
Water is essential to your body functioning properly. This is why constant dehydration can be devastating to your fitness and overall health. This article has shown how drinking enough water can help you burn fat, maintain good energy levels, increase your pain tolerance, suppress your urge to over-eat and even keep your body functioning at peak levels. All of these things are vital of you’re trying to keep fit and maintain good long-term health outcomes.