What’s The Big Deal About Staying Hydrated?

What is it about hydration that has got personal trainers, yogis, health coaches and sports team managers questioning, ‘how much water do I need to drink?’

clear drinking glass filled with clear liquid and sliced of kiwi

How important is it?

Firstly, DEHYDRATIONWhat is it?

Defined as; “a harmful reduction in the amount of water in the body.”

Harmful being the key word to listen to here. As dehydration gets worse, so does the harmful effect it has on the body.

One of the first facts I learnt about dehydration was about sports performance in my A-level Physical Education (PE) studies – yes, I did PE for A-level…

A review of research conducted into dehydration in sports performance found that losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids could significantly reduce measurable aspects of performance such as endurance and mental focus.

This is because roughly 65-70% of your body is water, and the majority of that is in your blood. If your blood thickens, as it does when you get dehydrated, oxygen will be transported around the body more slowly. Therefore, the delivery of oxygen needed to contract muscles and help the brain to make decisions is delayed. Given that athletes can sweat out 6% to 10% of their body weight during competition, you can begin to understand why the importance of rehydrating/hydrating cannot be overemphasised.

Furthermore, when you are dehydrated, the body is forced to draw water from the intestines and bowels, this causes constipation. It also forces the liver to help the kidneys remove waste as they will not have enough water to do this job themseves. Normally the liver’s function is to metabolize stored fat. However, when the liver has to help the kidneys function, fat metabolism will not be completed and this contributes to fat storage.

Finally, water is a natural appetite suppressant. Cravings are often misinterpreted as food cravings, when they are really thirst cravings. If you are not drinking enough water over an extended period of time your thirst mechanism shuts down, especially as you grow older. As you increase your regular water intake this thirst signal reactivates and lets you know the difference between a water and a food craving.

Drinking more water will prove to be the simplest, least expensive, most powerful and longest lasting key to long-term fat reduction, better sports performance and optimum functioning of your organs.

GOOD LUCK!

What is the Right Diet FOR YOU!?

I’ve decideed to give a sneak peak into my first eBook – ‘What is the right diet for you!?’

Below is the first chapter; a simple analysis of what your options are going forward when choosing a diet. If you like what you see, please ‘follow’ the blog and when I release the eBook anyone already following will recieve a FREE copy as a gift for your support. Thank you and enjoy!

Chapter 1 – What are your options?

What is the most frequent question I am asked about diet?

“Patrick, what is the best diet to follow?” or “Patrick, what should I eat after our session?”

The most frustrating thing about this question is, I wish I could give you a straight answer! It would be easy to say; ‘chicken and veg/salad’ or ‘turkey burgers with sweet potato mash’. But, it is not that my decision to follow a plant-based diet is the reason behind why I can’t give you this answer; it’s far more complicated than that.

The annoying but truthful answer to this is…

THERE IS NO ‘ONE-SIZE FITS ALL’ APPROACH.

Unfortunately this answer is also the most frustrating for my client’s to hear.

I can hear you saying it in your head right now; “Surely there is one diet that is better than most…can’t you just tell me what that one is? I haven’t got time to research and read everything and you seem to know what you’re talking about!”

Here’s why I can’t give you a concrete, or a pre-written, diet plan that has been shipped out on a mass-scale. It will not account for the diversity of the people that are following it. You need to think about your diet with a broader perspective. You’ve heard too much mumbo jumbo and your head may be in a bit of a muddle.

Think about this:

  1. Would a diet that works for “all” take into account a persons body type/shape?
  2. Would it take into account how affluent you are (budget)?
  3. Would it take into account the amount of time you have?
  4. Would it suit people from different cultures?
  5. Would it (you see where I’m going with this) take into account someone’s age?
  6. Would it take into account someone’s ethical beliefs?
  7. Would it take into account someone’s gender?
  8. Would it take into account previous experience of undertaking diets?
  9. Would it take into account the cooking facilities available to them?
  10. Would it take into account the size of their fridge/freezer?

This list goes on, and on, and on. I’m not even going to get into the discussion about whether that person in question lives close to a health food shop or farmers market…

To make matters more confusing are, your options for ‘diets’ are ENDLESS.

Paleo, vegan (my choice), vegetarian, atkins, intermittent fasting, 24hour fasting, 5-2 fasting, low-fat, high-carb, regular small meals, irregular big meals, gluten-free, dairy free, macro’s measured, juice cleanses and that list goes on and on…

Now you can see the issue I have with just giving an ‘off-the-cuff’ answer to the simple question I’m asked now, right?

I’m going to use myself as a good example as to why you cannot discount or support any one approach.

I’ve followed low-carb – seen results, intermittent fasting – seen results, high-carb – seen results, dairy-free – seen result’s. Just because it worked for me, and my particular set of circumstances, at that age, with the time I had, doesn’t mean I can ‘cookie cut’ that approach and just give it and say, “use that”. That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

FURTHERMORE, THAT WOULD NOT MAKE ME A RESPONSIBLE COACH EITHER!

The pro’s reading this are saying right now, “Patrick, you’re making this difficult, in order to lose weight you need to exercise more and eat less – it’s pretty simple!”

SIGH….

Well actually diets are actually very similar to other aspects of life; you may succeed in the short-term, but actual success long-term is where everyone falls down.

In order to succeed we need to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Implement behaviors based on knowledge we’ve learnt through other people’s experiences.
  2. Assess whether those behaviors work for you.
  3. Adjust those behaviors to suit you until we get the result we set out to achieve.

Let me make this VERY clear, all diets follow a similar pattern; they get you to focus on what types of food you’re putting in your mouth and how much, they get you to focus on the quality of the food your eating and they get you to control your apatite through the speed at which you eat or frequency.

What I prefer is a nutritional progression model (the ‘Precision Nutrition Model’) versus asking people to “follow a diet”. Because that is what ‘real’ coaches actually do!

Key Understanding 1 –

Understand the word ‘diet’ and what it means. There is no ‘end date’ to your diet, there is no ‘Quick! Fix! Blitz!’ Your diet is carefully selected and implemented after an assessment of your circumstances related to you.

Lets explore this more in the next chapter.