Everyone knows that water is important for the body. But for the athlete (or even the recreational exerciser), the constant and correct consumption of water is almost twice as important than it would be for someone who does not exercise. The normal daily intake for water is about half a gallon, or 64 ounces, but for someone who is working out, they have to consume 64 ounces on top of the water that needs to be consumed before, during, and after exercise. Generally, one should drink about 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before exercise, an additional 8 ounces during your warm-up, 10 ounces every 20 minutes during exercise, and 8 ounces immediately after finishing exercise. More or less is needed depending on you gender, height, and weight.
Not only do you feel better when you regularly drink water, you also perform better. When you are well hydrated, your joints are lubricated, making your movements more fluid, and you don’t get as tired as fast (as opposed to not drinking enough water) because water energizes you muscles The other benefits of drinking water include clearer skin, it helps maintain a normal bowel function (because your system is continually being flushed with a pure substance), and water is the cheapest beverage to consume because it is the easily accessible!
A great way to get water for cheap is to utilize the tap water/water fountain right in your home or dorm. Or if you prefer, you could go to the dining hall and fill up on their cold, filtered water (and any other drinks that you may like) too, as mentioned in my previous post “Top 5 Ways on How to Make the Most out of College Cafeteria Food“. The water is basically free! All you have to do is snag a reusable bottle and fill up. If you don’t like the taste of tap water, you could invest in a Brita Filter Pitcher. They have reasonable prices, as their cheapest pitcher costs 20$. These filters are great! I grew up with a Brita filter and I loved it. Just fill it up with tap water, put it in the fridge, and you are good to go. Of course, you could always buy that 24 pack or 36 pack of water bottles, and those are fine, but they can get pricey and you have to buy them at least twice a month.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, you could also get a fruit infuser. A fruit infuser is a water bottle that has a small chamber inside that can hold fruit and disperse the fruit juices in your water as you drink it. It will keep you hydrated, and because it tastes better, you will not feel the need to buy a fruity drink or soda as often. They sell fruit infusers like these in every grocery store, and you can also order them online. On amazon, there’s a great fruit infuser for only $2.50! Being healthy does not always have to come at a huge price.
Here some more tips on how you can make water work wonders for you:
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty! If you are thirsty, chances are you are dehydrated.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
- Keep a bottle of water with you handy, whether it is in you car, your bag, your sports locker, or the fridge.
- Try to have a water with every meal.