Jack McCormick is a personal trainer at Equinox. He prepared for this position by getting a master’s degree in Kinesiology and having an extensive background as a college strength and conditioning coach. He writes a blog a few times a month, offering helpful advice on improving your exercising and enjoying a better life, which we are pleased to occasionally offer here.
You may be surprised to learn that the body is typically compromised of 60% water, with vital organs having a high-water content, such as the brain and heart (73% each), the lungs (83%), and the skin (64%). In addition, water serves a variety of important functions in the body, such as transporting nutrients and dispelling waste. Most people would agree that drinking enough water and staying hydrated is important, but some research has described water as a highly neglected and underappreciated nutrient despite being among the most important. In fact, one researcher estimates that the prevalence of dehydration in adults ranges from 16-28%, depending on age. The good news is that there are many ways to help our bodies stay hydrated since many foods contain water.
Interestingly, it has been estimated that 20-30% of water intake comes from food. However, we should not rely on the water composition from the food in our diets alone. It can be challenging to know exactly how much water a person should drink because variables such as weight and activity level can make one person’s needs different than another’s. Research indicates that a normal hydration status can be achieved with a broad range of total water intake. A good rule of thumb can be to drink between ½-1 times your bodyweight in ounces per day. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you can aim for 70-140 ounces of water.
From the American Council on Exercise – Equinox Fitness Training Institute
1. Drink 17 to 20 ounces of water two hours before the start of exercise.
2. Drink 7 to 10 ounces of fluid every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise.
3. Drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluid for each pound of body weight lost after exercise.
4. Avoid sodas and fruit drinks with no nutritional value.
5. Water and other non-caloric beverages should be your first choice.
6. Go for sports drinks only before, during, and after intense exercise.
7. Prevent weight loss of more than 2% during exercise is not recommended (for example, a 150- pound person should not lose more than 3 pounds in an exercise session).
You can reach Jack at JackMcCormick@ptequinox.com.