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About Water...

by Jay Armstrong - June 2012

Yes, we must drink water in order to survive.  And, I am a big proponent of staying well hydrated.  Proper hydration is an excellent way to flush toxins from the the body and reduce stress on the system.  Drink lots of pure water each day.  Typical recommendations range from 1 to 3 liters of water per day -- even more if you are out in the sun losing lots of water to perspiration.  A good guideline might be to consume a 6-pack of 1/2 liter bottles of water each day.  

So, why am I writing an article about water?  It is because most people confuse not being thirsty with being well hydrated.  Or, perhaps worse, they confuse a dry mouth with dehydration.

I hope that you are exercising periodically and that your exercise sessions cause you to perspire.  Many clients show up with a small water bottle for their exercise session.  They do this because they don't want to get dehydrated.  Then they sip their little water bottle throughout the exercise session.  At the end of the session they have consumed about 1/4 liter (or half of a 1/2-liter bottle).  While they kept their mouths from becoming dry they did not prevent dehydration.

Imagine for a second that you consumed a 1/2 liter bottle of water 30 minutes prior to exercise.  Then, you exercised for an hour.  This caused a little dry mouth -- WHOOOAAA!  That was painful! Then after the exercise session you consumed ANOTHER 1/2 liter bottle of water.  In this imaginary scenario, you would consume a full one liter of water to compensate for the water you lost during your exercise.  "Yeah", you say.  "But what about the dry mouth thing -- I hate that".

Do you think that man evolved to have a water bottle on his hip and to sip it everytime his mouth became dry? No!  We are designed, much like all other creatures, to drink when there is water available and then NOT DRINK for a while.

And, guess what happens if you don't drink for a while.  You got it! You become thirsty.  Then, instead of taking a little sip of water, you will actually DRINK some water.  If you are thirsty, drinking an entire 1/2 liter bottle of water (all at once) should not be difficult.


If you begin drinking water, rather than sipping it, you may actually find that you weren't hungry but rather you were thirsty.  The signals from the body to the brain for thirst and hunger are actually quite closely connected and are easy to misinterpret.  If you eat when you are thirsty, you will still be thirsty. So you will eat more.  But you will still be thirsty.  Get it?

One last point about water.  When are people usually the most dehydrated? Here is a clue: "When do they go the longest period of time without water"? You got it!  Overnight we lose a lot of moisture due to breathing.  When we wake up we need water.  Consume a full, 1/2 liter bottle of water immediately upon waking.  This will replenish the water you lost during sleep and rapidly start up the digestive system.  This means you will start burning calories sooner.  You may also find that this single activity will help restore regularity to your digestive system.

In summary, I have made three specific recommendations:

  1. drink a full 1/2 liter bottle of water immediately upon waking in the morning
  2. drink a full 1/2 liter bottle of water 30 minutes prior to exercise
  3. drink a full 1/2 liter bottle of water immediately after exercise.

If you do #2 and #3, you will probably stop sipping water during your exercise session and will actually perform better during the session.






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