Water: why personal trainers recommend drinking a lot of it!
As a personal trainer in London, I cannot count how many times I’ve heard the following when clients say that they know they should drink more water but don’t because they ‘don’t have time’, ‘forget to drink water’ and ‘don’t want to have to go to the toilet too often.’ Instead of smiling and nodding in empathy to these lack of drinking water issues, I find my blood boiling red with rage, the colour on my face turn green and thinking that I’d like to take them to hospital and attach them to an intravenous drip to have them FEEL how delightfully blissful it is to be hydrated. (I know this feeling. I was attached to a drip after my knee surgery back in the year when the Spice Girls' 2 Become 1 was number one. I was bed ridden afterwards for six weeks. This gave me ample time to teach myself the statistics module for the first year of my psychology degree at University which my lecturers failed to do…but I divert).
Now for a more personal story. After my father thankfully survived an ischemic stroke, and I tried to get him to drink more water (the doctors couldn’t believe how dehydrated he was just before the stroke), my father actually said, in an almost childlike manner (sorry dad), “I don’t like water.” Although I had been trying for years to get him to drink more water, I did find the blood boiling, rage with anger…you get it now...happening inside me. However, I stayed calm and asked “what can I do to help you to drink more water?” So thereafter began the addition of flavoursome but calorie free re-hydrating tablets, putting lemon, cucumber anything healthy my dad didn’t hate into the water…These worked a little bit, but not enough for a change to take place. Finally, and I am not sure why it took me so long, I gave him some water out of the fridge, nice and cold and he loved (OK, a bit strong) it! He is now drinking a lot more water than ever before.
I learned that he too had a fear of going to the toilet too often. I explained that this is a myth. It is in fact healthier to go to the toilet than not. Point made.
Now for a bit of science, facts and benefits of water:
*your kidneys can filter 1L/1000ml/4cups of water per hour per day.
*It is possible to over drink water, this can lead to death. This is called overhydration or hyponatremia. This is very rare and more of a concern for athletes or if you have kidney disease or other conditions where your fluid intake is essential to monitor. Not likely to happen to you or me.
*helps to loose weight (yay!)
*vital for your major organs to function optimally
*keeps you hydrated therefore alert, full of vitality and energy
*prevents constipation in breastfed babies if mommy drinks enough water herself
*your urine will be almost clear or very slightly yellow when well hydrated
*your urine will not be smelly AT ALL when well hydrated
*your body, vegetables, fruit, a lot of foods you eat and not to mention the Earth is mostly water. Need I say more?
Based on the above, I can recommend that you have anywhere between a minimum of 2L but better 4L of water per day.
The best way to do this is to carry half to a litre of water with you everywhere you go, everywhere you are. Next to your bed (in your bed - I can recommend an excellent guaranteed no spill water container), in your bathroom (for those dreaded night time toilet visits), in your car, at breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and anywhere else on the go.
When we are lucky enough to have access to clean, healthy and nutritious water in the UK at any time without even thinking about it, I find it very hard to understand how you can forget, not have time for or don’t like to drink water. No more excuses. Here’s to a pint of H2O!
See what happened? I lost my sense of humour!