Drink Your Way [WATER] For Bigger Muscles And Better S*X
According to The Journal of Physiology, 75 per cent of your body is made up of water. Not surprisingly, dehydration will make your life exhausting because you are depriving yourself of nutrients. And, more often than not, because thirst is a poor indication of dehydration, we often don’t realise we’re not drinking enough fluids until it’s a little too late. Says Dr Maxime Buyckx, director of Health and Wellness Programs at the Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, The Coca- Cola Company: “Most people don’t realise it, but they do not have a sufficient intake of fluids during the day.” While eight glasses of water per day is a reliable guide, factors such as air-conditioning, diet and physical activity levels all influence the amount of fluids one needs to drink.
1. Boost Your Brainpower And Mood, And Enhance Your Performance According to a study published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, losing just one to two per cent – the medical definition of mild dehydration – will affect your mood, thinking and performance. Research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutritionalso found that mild dehydration decreases mathematical ability, your IQ, visual-motor function and short-term memory. Later studies also found adverse effects on perception and reaction time.
Drink Up Don’t fight that thought to sip water frequently: Down the recommended 1.2 litres a day before thirst prevails – that’s six to eight glasses of fluids (water is best) other than booze. However, drinking more than 1½ litres of water within an hour may result in water intoxication and can be dangerous. 2. Beat Fatigue If you consistently work out during lunchtime, being dehydrated can leave you dragging your feet instead of feeling energised. In a Tufts University study in the US, athletes who didn’t drink water during workouts felt angrier and more depressed later than those who did. Researchers say the dehydrated group’s “global negative mood” – including confusion, fatigue and decreased vigour, none of which will help a career – was one-third higher than the hydrated group’s. These symptoms, says the study’s coauthor, Kristen D’Anci, PhD, may be due to thirst and a slight shrinkage of the brain cells. This, in turn, affects your brain’s chemical balance, making you irritable or even triggering a headache.
Drink Up Even if you’re not thirsty, drink 250ml of water every 30 minutes during your workout. 3. Get Better Skin Although there is no hard and fast evidence that drinking excessive water directly correlates to better skin, in a US study, Dr Margaret E. Parsons, spokeswoman for the American Academy of Dermatology, says that when skin is dehydrated, fine wrinkles certainly seem to show up a bit more. So when skin cells are plumped up, your skin simply looks better.
Drink Up A 2007 US study on the effects of hydration on the skin reports that drinking about two cups of water can increase blood flow to the skin.
4. Build Bigger Muscles Warning: Dehydration saps testosterone, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Scientists found that men who were dehydrated prior to a workout had lower T-levels, compared to when they had consumed plenty of water beforehand. A potential mechanism: The water-depleted lifters also had higher levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that may depress testosterone, says study author Dan Judelson, PhD.
Drink Up At least four hours before you lift weights, consume about 3ml of water per 0.45kg of body weight. Water is the best choice, but other beverages can help keep you hydrated, too.
5. Lose Weight German scientists found that drinking water in the morning can boost your metabolism by as much as 24 per cent for 90 minutes afterwards. Moreover, water acts as an appetite suppressant and helps your body metabolise fat. When you’re dehydrated, your kidneys can’t function properly, so the load is shifted to your liver. This organ converts stored fat to energy, but won’t be able to do this job efficiently if it has to pick up the slack from your kidneys, which get overworked when you’re dehydrated.
Drink Up To rev up your metabolism, drink at least 450ml of water the moment you wake up. (A smaller amount had no effect.) And to increase the weight loss effect of water, guzzle at least a gallon over the course of a day.
6. Fight Erectile Dysfunction French researcher Simon Thornton suggests that the importance of blood volume – the amount of blood (both red blood cells and plasma) circulating in our bodies, which is directly correlated to the amount of fluids we consume – is overlooked in cases of erectile dysfunction. In his study published in the Journal of s*xual Medicine, he highlights the relationship between blood volume and levels of the angiotensin, a hormone that’s linked to s*xual dysfunction. He suggests the level of angiotensin rises as our blood volume drops. Therefore, as proper hydration is one way to boost blood volume, so increased water intake may be a way to improve s*xual function.
Drink Up More studies are being carried out to establish the relationship between erectile dysfunction and water. But several experts say it’s considered one of the best natural remedies available, as it can boost the body’s circulation levels, as well as flush toxins and cholesterol out of the body.