Woman on a mountain bike stops to drink water from a bottle.

WHY WATER WORKS

Reaching your full physical potential can be as easy as staying hydrated.

You know it’s important to drink water, but how does it directly affect our bodies when it comes to fitness? Try a simple experiment. Stand up and slowly try to touch your toes. Do your leg muscles feel stiff and tight? If so, you may not be getting enough fluids.

Water makes up about 60% of our body, and without enough of it, our muscles, tissues and joints can become dehydrated. Dehydrated muscles, tissues and joints aren’t flexible, making us more susceptible to injury.

The main ingredient in the fluid that lubricates your joints is water. Whether you’re practicing yoga, running a race or lifting weights, you need to keep your joints well lubricated to help avoid injury.

The Mayo Clinic recommends the following to stay hydrated over a 24-hour period1:

  • Active men: 3 liters of fluids
  • Active women: 2.2 liters of fluids

This may seem like too much, but your body will self-regulate over time. Here are three quick tips to make sure you drink enough:

  • Make water accessible. Carry a BPA-free water bottle for easy water access when you’re on the go.
  • Follow a schedule. Drink fluids in the morning with meals and after exercise.
  • Change your habits. Choose water instead of soda or other beverages when dining out.

1 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256?reDate=15042015&pg=1. Accessed April 15, 2015.

Information provided is for general background purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by a trained professional. You should always consult your physician about any healthcare questions you may have, especially before trying a new medication, diet, fitness program, or approach to healthcare issues.
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