Articles in Category: Hydration

75% of Americans are Dehydrated, Here Is Why

on 09/07/17. Category: Hydration

If you have ever done one of our body fat tests, you know that hydration percentage is just as important as lean mass and body fat percentage. That is because the body functions less optimally at less than 60% hydrated. Very rarely do we see people with hydration percentages that would put them in a group of physiologically hydrated people, which is a major concern for overall health and improving body fat levels. A study done on 3,020 people concluded that 75% of those studied are chronically dehydrated. Most people we test are around this same number, and it is only reasonable to translate this to the American population. The fact is, we are not drinking enough water, and it is impacting our health dramatically. In this article, I am going to explain not only what proper hydration can do for you, but why not being properly hydrated is keeping you from reaching your fitness and body composition goals.

The Effects of Chronic Dehydration

One of the reasons the effects of chronic dehydration are not taken more seriously starts with the simple fact that most people have never been properly hydrated. A recent study done on the effects of dehydration found that a mere 5% drop in water levels in the body can cause a 25-30% loss in energy; even a 3% drop can cause fuzzy thinking, “brain fog” and a slower metabolism. If you are wondering how small a 5% drop in hydration is, exercising intensely for just one hour can decrease your hydration levels by 2-4%! If you are often tired after a good night's sleep or often have a hard time thinking clearly, there is a good chance you are dehydrated. If that doesn’t make you reach for your water bottle, check this out. Dehydration is one of the most common risk factors for kidney stones. This is because being properly hydrated helps filter minerals, specifically calcium, through the kidneys. If calcium builds up in the kidneys due to lack of water, you get kidney stones. Simply adding 50 ounces or more of water a day is a start to keeping kidney stones in your rearview mirror.

A Day Without Water Could Kill You

The importance of hydration can be found in the simple fact that a person can go days without food, but a day without water can kill them. Indeed, this is true, and also why it is so important to prioritize water in a healthy lifestyle. In order for our metabolisms to function properly, water intake needs to be high. Tim and I talk about water and proper hydration all the time during our nutrition coaching sessions, especially for those seeking fat loss. Study after study shows that your body won’t let go of fat if you are not properly hydrated. Why? It’s simple, fat stores are essential for survival. Your body already doesn’t have enough water to properly function, why would it give up fat too? Our bodies are not stupid, they are built to survive. If you aren’t getting enough water daily, you won’t reach your fat loss goals. Plain and simple.

What Causes Dehydration?

Dehydration can be caused by sweating, urinating, and digestion without properly putting the water back in the body. Sweating is our body's natural cooling down mechanism that requires water stored in the body to help cool us down in hot weather and when exercising.This is especially true in the scorching Bakersfield summer months. This past summer, we had close to 75+ days with temperatures above 95 degrees. The hotter the weather, the more our body has to regulate the change in body temperature, which can change by simply going from your house to your car!

Caffeine and alcohol are other culprits of causing the body to become more dehydrated. Indeed, caffeine upregulates the adrenal glands which in turn forces “free water” from the body into the bladder. Alcohol does the same thing. It actually takes two water molecules to transport one ethanol molecule out of the body, so alcohol is two fold dehydrating on the body. In fact, many of hangover symptoms people experience after a night of drinking are caused by the dehydration effect of alcohol.

How To Know If You Need To Be Drinking More Water

If you have done a body fat test, Tim or I have already highlighted for you the need to consume more water based on your hydration percentage. For those who don’t know their hydration percentage, here are some tell tale signs you are dehydrated.

Constipation

Constipation or hard to pass stools are a sign that you are not getting enough water. When we digest food, water helps break down and transport food through the small intestine, into the colon. This water is then soaked up in the colon where it is transported to the bladder to be excreted. If you are dehydrated, you have limited water to help push digestion through the system, leading to hard and dry stools. If you have a hard time going to the bathroom, or don’t regularly, there is a good chance you are not drinking enough water.

Dark Urine

Another sign you are not drinking enough water is the color of your urine. The darker your urine is, the more dehydrated you are. The lighter the color, the more hydrated you are. A bit of caution on over hydration. You don’t want to drink too much water too fast. If your pee is too clear, you are depleting your electrolytes too quickly which is not good for staying hydrated or performing in the gym. A light yellow color is optimal for hydration. It is also worth noting that if you take a multivitamin, there is a good chance it is making your urine bright yellow, which will throw off your perceived level of hydration.

A Word on Salt and Electrolytes

Not consuming enough high quality salt is also found to be a form of dehydration. Most of us have been told by doctors to avoid salt because of the worry that consuming high amounts of salt will cause high blood pressure. Like in all things, though, not getting enough salt can also be detrimental to our health. Make it a priority to buy high quality salt, like himalayan or celtic sea salt, and put some on your food. Don’t worry about having too much as our bodies have natural mechanisms for telling us we are getting too much salt. My personal favorite, Redmond's Real Salt, is harvested from an ancient dried up seabed. This ensures that the salt I am getting is of the highest quality.

Drinking Sports Drinks Will Not Keep You Hydrated

We are consistently advertised to that sports drinks are the solution to our dehydration problem. And indeed, sports drinks do have electrolytes in them, but they also have a ton of sugar. Sugar is known to have dehydrating effects on the body. So sports drinks are actually terrible for hydrating the body! This is because consuming high amounts of processed sugar pushes water out of your cells and into the bloodstream which done enough causes your body to excrete the water from your cells. And since the hydration of your cells mirrors the hydration of your body, consuming sports drinks and other sweetened beverages is actually dehydrating. If you are serious about improving your health, sweetened beverages should be consumed infrequently.

 

Shane Hubbard CPT, PN1


Hydrate for Fat Loss

Written by Tim Gojich on 07/07/11. Category: Get Fit Healthy Blog, Fat Loss, Hydration

Hydrate for Fat Loss

If I told you that I had a new supplement that would do all these things…

1. Get You Stronger
2. Help You Lose Body Fat
3. Increase Energy
4. Cut Down Your Cravings For Sugar and Salty Foods
5. Improve Your Skin
6. Lubricate Your Joints (Which Leads To Less Joint Pain)
7. Boost Your Immune System
8. It is Free or the Cost is as little as 20 cents per bottle.

Would you buy it?

Of course you would. The problem is, most people do not understand the power of being hydrated. They look elsewhere for the “reason” that they are not losing fat and feeling bad. Supplement companies, your friends on social media and trainers will try and sell you the next magic supplement that promises to do all the things I mention above, but with a high cost. In the end, those supplements do not stand a chance to work if you are not drinking water. In fact, if you start to meet your water needs while taking their garbage, you will pee them right down the drain along with your money.
If you are dehydrated, you are not going to be successful on any exercise program. It does not matter how well laid out the program is. Your body will pull back resources to protect you. Our bodies system will not allow us to give an all out effort on anything physical when we need water.
A lot of our programs are based on you giving 80% of your strength for a period of time. If you start your day dehydrated, you are walking into Team Training at 50% at best. It is like walking into the gym with your parking brake on. The result of those efforts will not yield what you could have accomplished by simply being hydrated.
Hopefully I have sold you on water at this point. Maybe even convinced you to stop taking those magic pills. Here is what I recommend:

1. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water
2. Drink the amount above, 7 days per week
3. Lay out water bottles that equal your ounces needed the night before
4. Cut down on “other” beverages. This includes coffee, teas, juices, sodas. These drinks will make it tough to meet your needs
5. Use sparkling water whenever you crave carbonation
6. Get in the habit of drinking 6 ounces of water 30 minutes before and after every meal. It aids digestion and helps get your number of ounces up
7. Do not take a break from water. The major “needs” of your body require you to be consistent. If you take just one day off, you will have negative effects. I do not say this to stress you. I mention itso that you understand how important it is to be consistent.

Meet your needs and reach your full potential!

Tim Gojich, CPT


Stay Hydrated

Written by Tim Gojich on 04/14/10. Category: Get Fit Healthy Blog, Hydration

Stay Hydrated

The Bakersfield heat is finally here. I am pretty sure it is going to be hot from now until September. Boot Campers really need to pay attention to their hydration levels, especially the evening class. To ensure proper hydration make sure to drink good, clean water first thing in the morning. One rule to live by is to drink 8 ounces of water right after brushing your teeth, wait about 15 minutes and then eat breakfast. Drink another 8 ounces within about 20 to 30 minutes after you have eaten to help digest food correctly. Now you can have your coffee. Another rule for hydration is to get enough water for your body weight. If you take your lean or ideal body weight and divide it by 2, you now have a goal for the day. Remember: if you drink caffeine add another 8 ounces for every cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine will act as a diuretic and it will force water out of your body. So, make sure to replace what was lost.

When choosing water, try to drink spring water. Fiji and Evian are great choices because they have a good amount of natural minerals that your body needs. Try to avoid water that has just been filtered, they do not deliver any minerals at all. In fact, filtered water has been shown to strip nutrients away from your gut. I know that there are those who will say water is water, but I have been educated on the subject to know better.

Gatorade is tempting when it is hot. The problem is the sugar content. Most of the Gatorade products will have almost as much sugar and calories as a soda. If you are doing an activity for over an hour and plan on going for another hour or longer, Gatorade will be effective. The average person doing the average workout will be just fine with good water.