Good Hydration – Why it Matters

As summer approaches and the weather warms up – even here in Ireland! – it’s really important to stay hydrated. You may not always feel as though you need to drink much water before or after class, but according to the experts, most of us are consuming too little.

If the litre-a-day rule dictates your daily water consumption, here’s something to ponder: The European Hydration Institute says men should be drinking 2.5 litres a day, and women should consume 2 litres.  So if you are perching that plastic bottle on your desk or tucking it into your bag as a reminder, remember to re-fill it at least once a day.

The effects of dehydration aren’t pretty. Mild dehydration (losing 1 to 2% of body body weight) can result concentration loss, and too much dehydration can effect short-term memory, proper kidney functioning, a healthy heart rate and more. The list goes on, but the message is the same: Keep on drinking!

More reasons why:

1. 70 to 75% of our muscles are made up of water, so we need water to keep in top shape for exercising.

2. The kidneys filter approximately 180 litres of water each day (much of it reabsorbed), making it crucial to keep the aqua flowing.

3. Poor digestion can be the result of not enough water since water supplies the digestive track with key minerals.

If you want to spruce up your beverage, try adding a slice of lemon, lime, orange or a sprig of mint. Energy drinks are also effective at keeping hydration levels up. For workouts longer than 40 minutes, the European Hydration Institute says sports drinks may actually be more effective than water because they replenish necessary sugars and electrolytes, including sodium and potassium. (VitaHit is my current fave.)

Try upping your water intake and see if you notice the positive results. It might even give you more energy during your Pilates workouts. Holding the plank for two minutes when properly hydrated? No problem!


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