A “crisp” south Florida winter morning means that the mercury has dipped below 65. To the rest of you poor souls chilling up north that may seem a bit silly, but when you are acclimatized to the tropics, anything below 70 is not a comfort zone. However, in the gym, even on a crisp morning, if you’re training hard, breathing hard, and sweating then you are going to have to pay heed to one of natures basic necessities - water. Lumbering into the gym at 6 AM chased by a blast of cold air does not necessarily motivate one to drink (water), but it still should. You need it. And I was about to find out just how much.
It’s almost a joke these days; a bodybuilder carrying around a gallon water jug. A big puffy jacked up dude walking around in the middle of the day (indicating he is either a bouncer or unemployed. Or if he is employed it is only in a manner sufficient to support his bodybuilding). For some reason that just bothers me, especially when they do it outside the gym. Workout clothes, ear buds, and a gallon water jug at the grocery store at 11 AM with no other particular place to go.... It just screams of the preposterous and pedestrian life geared to one, main, rarely fulfilled, banal, quest. This is extra especially annoying when girls do it.... especially figure and bikini girls. Notwithstanding the other annoying fact of her adoption of a sugar daddy who facilitates such a meaningless existence, carrying that plastic gallon water jug just screams “look at me!! I’m in this way deeper than you!” “You” being the rest of us who’s physical and physique prowess is assessed by whether or not we are outwardly freighted with sufficient fluids. Yup, if you’re carrying that damn jug around then you really take building your physique seriously. lt’s an indication that the rest of what life has to offer pales by comparison to what the gym serves up. I think “obsessive” or “body dysmorphic” are agreeable descriptive terms for such folly.
Nevertheless, it was still dark out this particular morning when I stepped from my car and headed for the entrance to the gym. The wind kicked up again, nearly bone chilling, swirling dust and torn paper up against the wall that borders the parking lot. The thought of guzzling water wouldn’t have entered my mind right then even if the path was lined with cactus and sand. interestingly though, I had made a mental note to make sure I did drink more water. I’ve noticed recently that I’m really not downing the usual copious amounts I normally do when I’m not chained to a desk in a cubicle. I’ve been getting some severe knots in my upper back muscles and my hams and calves have been prone to cramping. These are signs that I’m dehydrated. So, I step inside and what’s the first thing I see? A gallon water jug!
I don’t remember who or what was holding it. I’m sure a human had a hand wrapped around the handle, but I was only focussed on the annoying presence of a gallon jug. God I hate those things. Like it or not, the unimpressive guardian of said jug jogged my reasoning and I found myself bellying up to the counter, and in a voice that sounded a lot like my own, a request was dispatched for a bottle of water. Now, when the guy behind the counter said that he didn’t have any that were cold a reasonable man, or even a sane one, would have said that was perfectly fine. But instead I distinctly heard myself bemoan the information and regarded the water fountain instead, which dispensed cold water. Why would I want cold water? I was freezing. Apparently the thought of carrying it around reminded me of the guy with the jug, which, as you know, annoys me.
So, with a stern conscious effort, I found myself making trips to the water fountain between nearly every set. I also made sure to drink tons and tons of water while at work. Funny thing... Two days later the knotted muscles disappeared, the cramping stopped, my energy level went up and I woke up this morning dry, full and hard. Yeah, there seems to be something to this water thing....
Apart from the annoying people toting the gallon jugs around, we tend to forget sometimes the importance of water, especially to those of us who train regularly with a lot of intensity and have the mass to prove it. In actuality, water is the most abundant, yet possibly the most overlooked, substance in the body. Water plays a vital role in all bodily processes by providing a universal medium for chemical reactions, lubrication, nutrient delivery, waste disposal, heat dispersion and temperature regulation.
I read somewhere that water accounts for 45 to 60% of an adult's total body weight. why the huge variance? Well, it has to do with body tissue proportions between individuals. Muscle is made up of 80% water compared to fat which is only 20% water. The lower a persons percentage of body fat the higher their percentage of body water is - the higher the percentage of body water the more water you need to drink.
This is because in order to maintain an appropriate fluid balance within the body the water you take in needs to equal the water lost. Fluid loss is heavily dependent on a person's activity level as well as environmental temperature and humidity, however, to give you the best example I could find, a sedentary adult can expect a total water loss of approximately 2500 ml per day. This loss of fluid would be the fault of several specific culprits: About 1500 ML a day are excretion by kidneys in the form of urine; another 500 ML a day are lost from evaporation and perspiration from the skin; 300 ML a day or so are lost from the lungs; and about 200 ML a day are lost from the gastrointestinal tract.
So, in order to maintain constant body fluid volume these water losses have to be matched by water that you take in. Only a small amount of water, about 200 ML a day is produced within the body through metabolic reactions. This leaves about 2300 ML a day that has to be ingested in the form of either liquid or foods with a high water content.
That’s for normal sedentary people, we are different. Exercise facilitates muscle contractions. Those contrations require oxygen. Three quarters of muscular activity is lost as heat and therefore, sweat production is increased to maintain body temperature via evaporation. The rate of respiration increases to supply sufficient oxygen to the muscles which results in greater water loss from the lungs.
As you can imagine exercise significantly increases fluid loss which can reach levels of up to 4 liters per hour during heavy work-outs in hot climates - that’s over a gallon! A loss of body mass through dehydration of as little as 2% significantly impairs performance which emphasizes the importance of hydration, especially during exercise, especially when it’s hot.
Even slight dehydration affects the body causing it to recognize it has a problem. Blood plasma is 92% water. Dehydration reduces the volume of blood in the body which makes the cardiovascular and respiratory systems work harder to pump the blood around the body and deliver sufficient oxygen to the working muscles. Exercise feels much harder as your body's systems aren't working as efficiently as they do with good hydration and performance is impaired.
As dehydration progresses, muscle aches, cramping, nausea and vomiting may be experienced. By 5% reduction in total body weight from dehydration performance drops by 30%. Fluid losses greater than this create weakness, confusion and dizziness leading ultimately to coma and death if fluid isn't replaced immediately.
The body's initial response to fluid loss is a negative feedback response known as “thirst.” I’m sure you’ve heared of it. To the majority of gym rats like us, thirst will be viewed as an indicator that we need to drink or we will become dehydrated. Unfortunately, by the time your body signals thirst you are already dehydrated, or at least beginning to be. That’s because the thirst mechanism is relatively slow. This is further compounded by the fact that the thirst mechanism tends to be depressed during exercise which increases the level of dehydration occurring before thirst is sensed. This is why fluid replacement should be considered before, during and after physical activity rather than relying on thirst to indicate that the body needs fluid.
Bodybuilders seem to spend an awful lot of time eating. However, other than those annoying people with the gallon jugs, drinking seems to not be as vital to them. In actuality, drinking is more important than eating. Just try training while you’re dehydrated and you’ll see what I mean. You really need to experience it to appreciate it like I did. But please don’t start carrying around that damn water jug.
Rehydration beverages such as Gatorade have become very popular as a means to combat dehydration because some people just can’t drink enough plain water to keep themselves hydrated. They need some flavor... and, the marketing hype will also have them believe they need all kinds of extra minerals and electrolytes as well. The reality is that many sports drinks contain more sugar than anything else, making them not as great as they sound as a rehydration drink.
What’s better? Coconut water... Yup, coconut water. That's right, rehydration used to be as simple as cracking open a coconut. In fact, studies show that in many areas of the tropics, coconut water - because of its many beneficial properties - has been used for years to treat dehydrating illnesses such as gastroenteritis when conventional fluids were unavailable.
Recently, the benefits of coconut water were further studied in comparison to traditional sports drinks made of carbohydrates and electrolytes, or plain water, for total body rehydration and blood volume restoration in exercise induced dehydration. Those studies demonstrated that coconut water not only rehydrated the depleted athletes they tested, but it was also significantly sweeter and well tolerated; it didn't cause nausea, fullness nor stomach upset.
VPX/Redline has just announced Coco Fit - a natural refreshing beverage that can be used for total body rehydration that contains 300% less sugar per ounce than the two leading coconut water brands.
Coco Fit is an exciting new rehydration drink that is revolutionizing the world of sports beverages. With its unique adaptation of one of the world's oldest and most natural and proven rehydration fluids, Coco Fit combines all natural and refreshing coconut water, vitamin D, healthy Omega 3 fats, and anti-oxidant rich natural flavorings to bring you what researchers would have to consider is the world's first all natural and healthiest rehydration sports drink.
If you're tired of sucking down traditional artificially flavored sugary sports drinks that are high in calories and low on performance, or gallon jugs full of plain water, today you have a new choice - a better choice. Coco Fit is the healthiest hydrating sensation in the world of beverages. And you don't have to climb a tree to get it! Put down that damn jug and get yourself some Coco Fit!