GIVEAWAY! | How Important is Fluid Intake anyway? | 12 Days of ChristMASS | Day 2

Edit: The 12 Days of ChristMASS competition is over. Thanks for reading and be on the lookout for any future competitions.

Everyone knows fluid intake is important but how important is it? What happens to your body when you become dehydrated?

  • At just a 0.5% decrease in Body Mass (BM) due to a decrease in water, your heart begins having to pump harder.
  • At 1-2% decrease in BM, there is a perceived decrease in cognitive function [1]
  • At a 2% decrease in BM, there is a decrease in aerobic performance. [2]
  • At a 3% decrease in BM, there is a decrease in strength output. [2]
  • At a 10% decrease in BM, death can occur.

Hydration Clarifications

Now that we know how important hydration is, let's clear up some misconceptions about "dehydrating" drinks. There has been talk about coffee, sodas, and other caffeinated beverages being dehydrating, meaning they cause you lose more water through urination than they provide you by drinking them. While caffeine does cause you to urinate more, you still gain more water from drinking these than you lose from the increased urination. In other words, these drinks are hydrating drinks. [3] However, alcohol does cause you to urinate more water than you gain from drinking it and is a dehydrating beverage. If you choose to drink alcohol, an easy rule of thumb would be, for every alcoholic beverage you drink, drink an additional glass of water to make up for the loss in total body water due to the alcohol. 

Practical Recommendations

A good starting place for fluid intake would be 1/2 - 2/3 of your bodyweight in pounds, in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you would shoot for 100-137 ounces. I say this is a good starting point because, while this takes into account water intake relative to your size, it does not take into account your individual needs. Think about two men who are both 200 pounds. One man lives in Maine, works in an office, and trains in an air conditioned gym. The other man lives in Texas, works in construction, and trains in a non-air conditioned gym. It should be obvious that the second man will sweat drastically more than the first and will therefore require a higher water intake. A good way to compensate for individual needs is by the number of times you urinate per day and the color of your urine. You should have five clear urinations per day, two of those coming after your workout. [4] 

Thanks for reading! At the end of the 12 days of ChristMASS, I am giving away a $100 Amazon gift card! There are multiple ways to enter. The following things will give you one entry each:

  • Like the Treadaway Training Faceboook page.
  • Share the Treadaway Training Facebook post containing any 12 days of ChristMASS article.
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This gives you 5 possible entries each day with 1 additional entry for liking the Facebook Page. God Bless and I'll see you tomorrow for the 12 Days of ChristMASS Day 3!

[1] R. J. Maughan, Impact of mild dehydration on wellness and on exercise performance. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003 57, Suppl 2, S19–S23.
[2] Kraft, J.A., et al., The influence of hydration on anaerobic performance: a review. Res
Q Exerc Sport, 2012. 83(2): p. 282-92.
[3] Killer, S.C., A.K. Blannin, and A.E. Jeukendrup, No evidence of dehydration with
moderate daily coffee intake: a counterbalanced cross-over study in a free-living
population. PLoS One, 2014. 9(1): p. e84154.