“My friends call me Z.”
He stuck his hand out, and I could see my disdainful expression reflected back at me off the top of his shiny dome. The only hair on his head was a black soul patch under his lip which combined with the diamond earrings he was wearing to give the impression that he was either a failed pick up artist, or a Bond villain.
“What should I call you then?” I asked.
“Z is fine”
He went on to explain the benefits of the energy drink he was promoting and the miraculous new anti-oxidant contained within, which is designed to rid the body of toxins and other cancer causing compounds (CCCs). It also had 80mg of caffeine (read: a useless amount) in order to keep the consumer focused all day.
“I tell people all the time, this stuff is better than water” he said, crossing his arms. “You just aren’t going to get these benefits without having a glass of water, a cup of coffee, and 3 pieces of fruit.”
Unfortunately, this is the attitude that many people have regarding supplements, powders, anti-oxidants, fat burners, pre-workouts, and cleanses.
The constant advertising barrage we get on a daily basis is enough to make even the best of us think that if we’re not ingesting 2mg of Hungarian silk worm extract for every lb of lean body mass that there’s no way we’re going to ever be fit.
However, I’m here to tell you that you don’t need a beverage that leaves your mouth tasting like aspartame and month old gutter leaves in order to be healthy. You can optimize your well-being using just basic stuff around the house. Tap water, a big rock, and some chicken are all you need.
Here are the facts:
Your body is 60% water. If you’re like me and have a hard time picturing math that isn’t laid out in a pseudo-sexual way, picture yourself in a pair of high wasted jeans with nothing else on.
Everything below that deliciously high waist is water; everything above it is bones, muscles, fat, teeth etc.
So it’s important to get enough water, particularly if you workout or do any other activity where you sweat. And for your sake, I hope you do something sweaty everyday. It will keep you young, virulent and free from type 2 diabeetus.
Here are 6 things that you may not know about water.
1. Getting enough water is imperative to keep your joints healthy.
Forget glucosamine and chondroitin, forget rooster comb extract (not making this us) and leave your horse liniment on the shelf. Drinking more water can keep your joints lubricated and feeling good.
2. Water helps aid digestion.
By getting enough water, you can make sure that food breaks down faster in your digestive system, which means that you decrease your odds of being constipated (which is really shitty) and increase the amount of nutrients you can absorb from your foods.
Tibetan monks had a saying “Drink your food and chew your water” which is partially because they love saying contrarian things (To go up, you must first go down”, “To be right, you must first be wrong”, etc.) but it also has some practical application.
Your saliva is filled with digestive enzymes that help break down food before it even gets to your stomach, so “drinking” your food means you’ll chew it more before swallowing it, which results in better mechanical breakdown (from chewing) and chemical breakdown (from enzymes). You’ll get more nutrients this way, and generally feel better.pic
When you “chew” your water, by holding it in your mouth or swishing it around before swallowing it, you infuse it with your natural digestive enzymes which will again, give you bonus powers of nutrient absorption.
You’ll pretty much be like a digestive superhero.
3. Water flushes out toxins.
If I were looking for a scummy clickbait title for this article, I would title this THE ULTIMATE NATURAL DETOX STRATEGY.
By working with existing processes in the body like the liver’s natural waste removal system and cellular autophagy (the replacement of broken/damaged cells) being hydrated can actually help flush out toxins in the blood, and in the lymphatic system.
In fact, this natural detoxifier works better than the one you saw on TV last night.
The only reason you don’t see bottles of water with 40 dollar price tags and shameless advertising promises, is because no one is that dumb….right?
4. Water helps regulate body temperature.
Drinking a glass of cold water will help cool your body way more than pouring the same glass on your head in slow motion, like a super sexy ALS Ice Bucket Challege.
On the same note, yes, drinking cold water will cause a slight caloric burn because your body has to warm the water before it’s totally digested, but who fucking cares? That’s majoring in the minors, which is something I’m firmly against.
5. Water keeps your skin looking young.
The more hydrated you are, the better your skin will look and feel. You’ll have fewer instances of redness or dry patches, and it can even help regulate the oiliness of your skin (hint: eating a diet low in processed food helps).
You’ll look younger, feel better and Jennifer Lawrence will want to hang out with you.
6. Better Performance:
When dehydrated by as little as 2-5%, performance in any given activity can decrease by up to 30%.
That’s the difference between squatting 315lbs and 220lbs.
If you’re slamming NO-Explode before a workout, but haven’t been properly hydrated for the day, you are a silly bastard.
Dehydration causes a host of problems during performance. When you’re dehydrated, blood volume decreases, which causes your heart rate to increase.
This causes more fatigue sooner. Additionally, your body temperature goes up, which causes your heart to work harder, and the rest of your body spends more energy trying to cool itself, rather than devoting all of its energy to performing your task.
Don’t be a dummy, drink your water.
**BONUS WATER BENEFITS**
- More energy
- Muscles will be more hydrated and look ‘fuller’
- Helps the fat burning process
- Keeps you full longer
- Helps the eyes stay lubricated.
Practical Takeaway/I Skimmed the Article, What’s the Point?
Drink between 24 and 48 ounces of water when you first wake up. This will actually help keep you energized throughout the day. I’ve found that my best workouts come on days when I follow this rule.
Drink 48 ounces of water, and do some light stretching or moving. No need to break a sweat, but this simple drill will do more for your productivity and emotional health than all of your self help DVDs and herbal remedies.
Do this for 3 weeks, and see what happens. 5 minutes in the morning can be the difference between having a ‘fine’ day, and a ‘great’ day.(Max Shank is the owner of that idea, and he does a much better job extrapolating than I could.)
Does coffee count as water?
Because caffeine is a natural diuretic, drinking coffee is a net neutral. You’re getting water, but also flushing some out, so no. Coffee does not count towards total water consumed.
What about coconut water?
I approve. It’s full electrolytes and is an excellent re-hydration drink during or after a workout. Watch out for coconut water that’s been pumped full of sugar or has 2+ ingredients. BONUS: can also be used as IV fluid in a pinch.
How much water should I drink?
As a baseline, use the advice from the Mayo Clinic, which recommends that men drink 3 liters (100 ounces) of water per day, and that women drink 2.2 liters (74 ounces) of water per day.
If you’re exercising, you can add an additional 16 ounces of water for every hour of exercise, and if you live in a hot or humid part of the world, you can add an additional 16 ounces for every hour of exposure.
Don’t be the dumb dumb who takes 17 different supplements for ‘health’ but neglects water in favor of an energy beverage with some bullshit anti-oxidant guaranteed to make your beard-sweat smell like hazelnuts.