• Helen Phillips

Food for Fitness Tip #1: DRINK MORE WATER

Food for Fitness Tip #1: DRINK MORE WATER

How did the plants in your garden cope during the summer? Probably wilted whilst you went on holiday and you're grass was scorched bone dry dead!

But all it took was a little water from the first rain shower …. and literally within minutes, they were like brand new plants!

Well, how do you think YOUR body feels when you don’t give it enough water?

Do you feel sluggish? Is your running super hard?

It's always important to make sure you’re drinking the right amount of water through the day to keep yourself perky, healthy and to ensure your training goes well.

So many clients I work with admit to not drinking (enough) through the day. They either forget, they're busy or don't have water readily available as they work.

Why does good hydration matter?

You body is made up of about 60% water! Having your cells hydrated is critical for you to properly digest food, absorb nutrients, power your circulatory system, maintain your body temperature, and more ...

Are you prone to a mid afternoon slump, wanting to drop off in after lunch meetings?

That could be because you're dehydrated. Staying hydrated also helps to keep your energy levels high and can even help you maintain a healthy body weight.

With as little as a 1.5% drop in hydration, you can start to experience headaches, muscle cramping, bad breath, and the list goes on.

And for us runner's it's critically important to be well hydrated for exercise.

If you’re running for longer than 1 hour, you need to drink water on your run, not just in the extreme heat of this summer, but during every run.

Your body sweats to help it cool down, so you need to be well hydrated before you set off to give yourself the best "cool down on the run" opportunity and you should drink water whilst you're running, a little and often, drinking to thirst.

As you run, your body produces heat and then sweats to lose the heat, and you lose body fluid and salts from this sweating.

Your sweat rate is determined by body size, metabolism, the intensity of your exercise activity, temperature and humidity. If you're a "heavy sweater" then you really DO need to pay attention to your hydration through the day as well as during exercise.

Need more convincing to drink?

If you start your workout dehydrated or don't drink whilst you're running you'll find exercise much harder, as your blood will be thicker and so it's harder to pump around your body. None of us wants our workouts to be harder!

Here are some of my ideas for getting keeping hydrated:

  • Drink water, in small sips, during the day BEFORE you get thirsty!

  • Have a big glass of water first thing in the morning. You're most likely dehydrated after sleeping.

  • Use a fun water bottle or glass that you enjoy drinking out of!

  • If access to water isn't readily available whilst you're travelling or at work carry a water bottle with you at all times.

  • If you're not keen on the taste of plain water, flavour it with lemon, lime, mint, cucumber, or strawberries to switch it up! (nothing artificial!) But steer clear of juices which are often very high in sugar.

  • Before exercise drink a pint of water to make sure you're well hydrated.

  • Carry a water bottle with you whilst running or use a camelbak if carrying a water bottle will drive you mad!

  • After exercise you'll need to drink about 1.5 times the amount of water you've lost, so make sure you rehydrate well after.

Are you up for a Cheesecake Runner Challenge after summer?

Join in with the Cheesecake Runner 5 Day Eat Right for Running Coaching Challenge. 5 Days ... 5 Food for Fitness tips ... to help you get in shape after summer, plus coaching support and more!

Each day you'll get a new Food for Fitness Tip to challenge yourself to change, plus a live video with more tips to help you tune up your diet for training, so you can power through your plan to PB success!

The live challenge starts 9th September. Are you in? Click HERE to join.

Helen x

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