Is dehydration affecting your performance?
With a whole host of health benefits, we asked member-founded food-tech brand, Fresh Fitness Food, to explain how water can be pivotal in enhancing your performance and health
By Tilly Pearman
Signs of dehydration can come in many forms: headaches, dizziness, low energy levels, and even digestive problems. It’s easy to overlook, but with such a simple fix we’ve identified four common situations where dehydration may be impacting your performance.
Water is used by the body to transport nutrients to all of our cells, providing us with an instant energy boost. When we’re dehydrated, our brain functioning is impaired and we can suffer from daytime fatigue. If you feel like you’re falling asleep at your desk mid-morning, this could be due to lack of hydration.
During intensive exercise, we lose a percentage of our body weight through sweating. If the body is not rehydrated during and after physical activity, dehydration can severely impair physical performance, having a drastic effect on our strength, endurance, and muscle recovery. One of the primary reasons for this is that dehydration affects our core body temperature and can cause an increasing sense of fatigue. If you’re trying to build muscle, it’s vital you are taking in enough water during training sessions.
For weight loss
Ensuring that we’re drinking enough water can also be an effective way of stimulating weight loss. Not only does our appetite decrease naturally when we’re substantially hydrated, but we also often mistake thirst for hunger cravings and can overeat because of this.
Next time you’re feeling hungry, make sure you have water to hand. When we’re dehydrated, the body tends to hold onto any available water as a survival mechanism, which can cause bloating. When we’re drinking enough, this effect is reversed – the body is encouraged to release more and retain less water, as it’s no longer threatened with dehydration.
In addition to tackling the effect of bloating, water is used by the body to maintain a healthy digestive system. The stomach needs water to produce hydrochloric acid, used to break down the food we consume effectively and ensure a healthy bowel function.
By supporting the healthy functioning of both the liver and the kidneys, water also aids effective detoxification of the body. The kidneys use water to fuel its ability to filter toxins and remove waste products from the cells via urine. When the kidneys are able to function effectively, it allows the liver to continue to do its own job and metabolise excess fat stores.
Sip water regularly throughout the day and each of the above individual benefits will work together to instantly transform your energy levels.
Struggle to get your water intake up? Here are some quick tips to help you stay hydrated throughout the summer:
• Buy a reusable water bottle – not only is it great for the environment, but having one to hand will also mean you’ll have fluid throughout the day when you’re on the go.
• Refill your water glass when it’s empty – getting up from your desk and moving is good for you, and it’ll encourage you to drink more regularly.
• Set a water intake goal – try to drink one litre by midday, or set reminders if you really struggle to remember.
• Jazz up your H20 – if you find it difficult to just have plain water, add some citrus fruits, cucumber or mint to encourage you to drink more.
Exclusive to Soho House members, Fresh Fitness Food is offering qualified nutrition consultations (worth £65) over the phone. Whether you have a quick question about a food group or would like to discuss your goals, simply click the link to book.
Fresh Fitness Food is the UK’s leading food-tech brand. To find out more, visit freshfitnessfood.com