Water is one of the most essential elements of life. Our bodies are made up of anywhere between 50-75% water. We can't live without it! Did you know that chronic dehydration is one of the leading causes for inflexibility? We've all been told at some point in our life that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day. That's a great place to start, but to make the quantity more accurate for your body and activity level, consider the suggestions later on in this post.
According to Stretch to Win Center co-founder Ann Frederick, "Water is the single biggest factor to increasing flexibility from something you can take into your system. Forget foods, forget supplements; WATER it is."
In addition to regulating body temperature and acting as a cushion for tissues and organs, water helps transport oxygen and absorbs heat from the muscles. Frederick says, "The fascia layer [connective tissue surrounding the muscles] is supposed to glide across the muscular layer, but when the fascial tissue is dehydrated, it sticks [to the muscular layer]." The result: decreased range of motion, and, hence, an inflexible athlete.
Your water needs depend on several factors, including your overall health, level of activity and where you live. According to performance nutritionist Megan Mangano, the recommended daily fluid intake for athletes is a half to one ounce per pound of bodyweight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume 75 to 150 ounces of fluid per day. If you've lost weight during a training session, you must also consume fluid to replace that weight. For every pound you lose, drink approximately 20 ounces of fluid.
Ways To Drink More WATER:
Add fresh fruit to your water (cucumber, berries, lemon, and lime are a few examples).
Drink a glass after every bathroom break.
Sip before every meal.
Dilute sugary drinks with water and ice if you must have one.
Keep a gallon jug nearby.
Invest in a filter for cleaner/better tasting water.
Choose sparkling or mineral water over soda.
Eat water-rich foods (cucumber = 96% water, zucchini = 95% water, watermelon = 92% water and grapefruit = 91% water).
Stick to a one-to-one rule when drinking alcohol.
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