Drink Your Water, People!
H20, agua, cool refreshment or transparent joy– whatever you want to call it, you need to be drinking water… and chances are, you may not be drinking enough– especially if you’re pouring sweat in your P90X, Insanity or Chalene Johnson workout.
Of course, there’s two sides to every story and the other side’ll tell you not to drown yourself and simply drink when you’re thirsty. I’m not sure I subscribe to that theory as thirst is kinda the first sign you’re not getting enough water in the first place. I’d rather be ahead of the curve than behind it– especially when water can solve constipation (yeah, I said it), keep your kidneys from taking a beating, keep nutrients flowing and your internals lubed and firing on all six. Of course, there’s also the other reason… helping with good old-fashioned muscle definition, AKA: rippage.
It’s true– if your body’s starved for water, you’ll begin to retain H20 and that six pack you worked so hard for? It gets a good old-fashioned pack-block via “subcutaneous fluid” you may mistake as fat or extra weight you need to drop. If you’re at sub 9% body fat as a dude or 14%-ish as a Female and crushing diet and cardio, it ain’t– it’s water. So how can you tell? Pinch that lower ab area, pull it and let it go. If it “jigga-jiggas” like rolling jello as opposed to a firmer snap, you’ve probably got some water hanging out where you don’t want it.
A few things are notorious for creating water retention– warm weather and too much sodium are frontrunners. There’s lots of biological science as to why but without getting into the “please move on you’re boring me” science of it but drinking enough water and keeping your sodium intake at 2000-2500mg a day will keep things in check.
So how much water should you take in? Glad you asked. Check out this link and answer a few specific questions to get an eye-opening recommendation– and start drinking up. In the mean time, watch your sodium intake and as you work out, take notice of the way your sweat tastes. I know that sounds gross but if it’s salty, you’re shedding excess sodium. If it tastes like water, you’ve done a pretty decent job of flushing the sodium out.
I’m sorry…learn to love it. Most people don’t like unsweetened Iced Tea when they first drink it but after a few rounds, it becomes an acquired taste. And since we’re on the subject of alternative drinkage…While other beverages contain water, they’re not water and can add excess sodium and junk you don’t need. Diet soda isn’t water. Gatorade isn’t water. Water is water. Spice it up with a squeeze of citrus or sample bottled waters to find one that fits your tastes. Don’t argue. Take your recommended dose of hydrological medicine.
Back in the days after knocking out my first 90 days with P90X, I’d wake up with a six-pack but by days end I had to flex and squeeze to even see a bargain-basement two. Vascularity would fade to non-existent and I’d look “softer” and while missing the harder-edged muscle definition I was after. And really, after all the hard work I’d put in, that was kind of craptastic. In my frustration, I went to my “voodoo” guy and right off the bat he called me out- “You’re not drinking enough water. That’s water retention.” I was pounding 64 oz. of H20 a day like I thought I should have been…but he suggested I up it to bladder-busting 120- ish. After my I adjusted and my body realized water was coming with ample supply, I almost immediately dropped four pounds and Mr. Six-Pack went back on full-time display… definitely NOT craptastic.
Whether you’re in the rural, suburb or city-center of Sixpackville, your body needs water. Definitely use the water recommendation tool to get a gauge on your water intake and adjust from there as you get into the refinement stage of hitting your physique goals. Your body will thank you… and so will your “after” pictures.
No matter how many ounces you swig in a day, I’m here to help you through your program. If you’re not already on the team, let’s make things official–Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or make me your free coach right here.