One thing that we don't think about often when changing our diet is to remember to stay hydrated. We get so focused on what foods we are taking in, we often forget about it. Especially in the winter months.
There are many benefits for staying hydrated and many consequences from being dehydrated. Lets think about the brain itself is 80% water.
A few benefits of staying hydrated include: Toxic remover, joint greaser, clearer healthier skin, helps muscles function, boost immune system, water is a lot cheaper than drinking a soda that cost almost as much as the meal.
Consequences of dehydration include: headaches, irritability, inability to focus, slower reaction time, decreased speed, decreased strength, decreased power, decreased coordination. Talking about a bad day at the gym.
How much water should I drink every day?
Below are general recommendations for males and females WITHOUT considering exercise:
Guys- 4 liters, or roughly 1 gallon per day
Girls- (3 liters) per day
Rule of thumb if you workout for 60 minutes add around 20-40 ounces per hour of training
If you’re drastically under hydrating, start with small steps towards your goal. Don’t try to skip to your daily target overnight. Your bladder won’t be happy.
How can I tell if I am hydrated? The best method to assess hydration status is to monitor the color of your urine. Your urine should be “light like lemonade,” NOT “dark like apple juice.” “Clear like water” isn’t desirable either, as this is a sign you’re low on electrolytes (sodium and potassium). This can negatively impact performance.
Will caffeine dehydrate me? No. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, but if you drink enough water over a 24 hour period it has no effect. Just in case you wanted to know!
References: RP Strength FAQ