I get it. Water consumption is extremely important, especially when you’re sweating buckets during a sunny outdoor boot camp. So, I make it a point to guzzle a few bottles throughout the day, every day. More than just “wetting your whistle,” water regulates body temperature and lubricates joints. If you’re having trouble consuming the recommended 64 ounces of water daily, you are not alone. Plain, clear water doesn’t interest me all that much, even when I know how important hydration is for those who live an active lifestyle. Over the years, I’ve developed some techniques to ensure adequate water consumption. Sit back, take a sip of water, and enjoy:
Water for workouts. For the typical hour-long workout session, try this rough breakdown of water consumption:
Before Workout: 2 cups, 15-30 minutes beforehand;
During Workout: 3 - 4 cups;
After Workout: 2 cups, within 30 minutes.
Watch the sports drinks. Many sports drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings. For especially strenuous, sweat-inducing workouts, or those greater than 90 minutes, consider pouring a packet of electrolytes - found in any health store - into your water bottle to balance your mineral levels. When teaching multiple fitness classes, I take my favorite vitamin-infused sports drink (love the fruit punch flavor!) or natural coconut water and pour half of it into my water bottle, filling the rest up with regular ice water. It allows me to cut down the calories and sugar while still getting a tasty beverage that replenishes what I’ve sweat out.
Add some flavor. Get creative with your water consumption and give your taste buds a little something to enjoy. On warm days, add sliced strawberries, watermelon, pineapple, or cucumbers for subtle flavor. On colder days, brew soothing herbal tea. On especially cold mornings - like ones we’ve been having lately in Washington, DC - I love heating up water and adding a few slices of ginger and a dash of honey to warm my insides and soothe my throat before teaching classes.
All liquids are not created equal. As a coffee junkie that enjoys an occasional glass of wine, my strategy is to sip a glass or two of water alongside each of these beverages. This not only ensures hydration, but also prevents me from consuming too much of either substance.
I hope you find these tips helpful in getting you to drink more water on a daily basis. I would love ot hear your tips for staying hydrated, so comment below or drop me a line. OK, time to fill up that water bottle and guzzle it down - bottoms up!