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A 2% dehydration leads to a 20% loss of performance. Increase your fluid intake, especially during and after exercise. We are made largely of water, so any lack of the stuff of life has a dramatic effect on you. Tiredness, lethargy, loss of concentration and poor performance can all be attributed to a lack of water. The press have had a field day with this topic over the last few years, how much should we have, is too much bad, what if I have to go to the bathroom 50 times per day and so on.
Try to drink at least 5 glasses a day, remembering to take small sips often – you can actually only assimilate a small amount of water into the body at any time. Also remember that most of the figures bandied about fail to make allowance for the fact that many of the foods we eat actually contain quite a bit of water which also counts towards your allowance (especially if you have taken your personal trainer’s advice and are following the wholefood nutrition plan!). The key is to have a little often provided your work place/lifestyle allows for it, and most importantly of all try not to get thirsty-by this time you are already dehydrated. Moderate alcohol, caffeine and soft drinks. All of these beverages have diuretic properties and make you dehydrated. After drinking these beverages you will be thirstier than before as you will wee out most of the actual water within. Alcoholic drinks also have lots of calories and often contribute to weight problems. If you have more than 4-5 cups of coffee/tea a day try to substitute some of them for caffeine free alternatives, water is really tasty! If your wine is a compulsory de-stresser try to alternate it with a glass of water per glass of wine; alternating drinking days with abstinence days is also a good way of moderating yourself. Living in the real word I often find myself advising my personal training clients in the Berkshire area to drink clear spirits (less impurities and less calories) and to mix them with soda water or slimline tonic. If you must get lashed and go dancing then do it on a good vodka and slim-line tonic, or my personal favourite (not that I drink, of course) would be vodka, soda and lime.
Do remember though, that alcohol does come from distilling which involves sugar, so each drink you are having is like a small Kit Kat. Would you really go out on a Saturday and have 10 Kit-Kat’s in a row? Good luck and take it easy, moderation rules!!