If your body had a nutrition label, the first ingredient listed would be water. More than 60% of our bodies are water, so basically we're just cucumbers with anxiety.
Whether you're training for the Olympics or just looking to shed some pounds for that Punta Cana trip, water is maybe the most powerful tool you can use to achieve your goal. Choosing not to take advantage of this free and effective tool is like being able to fly but choosing to travel via horse and carriage instead.
Here are the top four ways that staying hydrated supercharges your body.
Staying hydrated makes you faster, stronger, and an all around more capable physical specimen. Just a 2% decrease in hydration leads to a significantly worse athletic performance. Dehydration leads to less speed, strength, endurance, coordination, and overall output. The difference between the dehydrated version of you and the hydrated version is like the difference between pre-experiment Captain America and actual Captain America.
Keeping hydrated is the fastest and cheapest way to drastically improve your physical performance. Question - what supplements can promise you better performance for free? Answer - none.
Let’s take another look at that physical performance piece, because it’s a big one. Even mild dehydration, like you’d experience after going for a run or the morning after too many drinks, can mess up your next workout big time. "Mess up" as in failing the 5th rep of your warmup set. Or missing your first box jump and crashing to the floor. Not what you want.
Brains need water, just like muscles do. If you don't give your brain the water it needs, it won't give you the performance you want. Dehydration in the brain decreases everything that makes you intelligent - reaction time, energy levels, ability to concentrate, attention span, short and long term memory. On top of that, you'll likely have a headache. So dehydrated you is the same as regular you except you're in more pain, clumsier, and duller. How dehydrated do you have to be to feel these effects? Consensus says 1.5% loss of fluid will do it. Stay hydrated, stay smart.
Drinking water boosts your metabolism. When you’re hydrated, your mitochondria are happy. When they're happy, they do more. When they do more, they burn more calories - fat calories in particular. One study showed that drinking just 17oz of water increased energy expenditure by 24% for the following hour. If this increase lasts the entire day, you could burn as many calories from drinking water as you could from running for an hour.
Staying hydrated is such a simple and easy thing to do that it's significance is often overlooked. Just because something is more expensive, doesn't mean that it provides more value.
If I had a pill that was guaranteed to increase your energy, ability to burn calories, and enabled you to function at your physical and mental peak, would you want it? Of course you would. No such pill exists, but water does. It does all those things and is completely free. Drink up!