Everybody knows they should be drinking water, but not nearly enough of us are consuming what is considered a healthy amount: “We should be having between two to four liters of water during an average day at the office,” says fitness expert Fabrice Le Physique, founder of the Munsterfit gym.
But why the call for such volume? “Dehydration can start as early as when you wake up in the morning, resulting in headaches, a loss of focus and irritation. The moment you start hydrating, water helps prepare and decongest the body,” he continues. So the more you drink, the better you’ll feel.
In fact, you can’t get away from the benefits of water: it aids weight loss by increasing your metabolism and regulating your appetite, as well as improving circulation and reducing the risk of serious illnesses such as bladder, colon and breast cancer.
And for the vain – know that it helps plump and firm the skin. Also, unlike most energy drinks, water doesn’t include any nasties – aka sugar or preservatives – making it the winning beverage from a health perspective. You might say aqua is the miracle elixir without the designer price and, as the personal trainer confides, “it doesn’t make much difference whether you choose tap or bottled water. It’s just a matter of personal preference.”
Fabrice’s only stipulation is that water should be kept at room temperature prior to training, and that we should ideally start hydrating between 30 minutes and two hours before a workout. Yes: exercise is where H2O really comes into its own, particularly when it comes to body toning.
“Water helps transport the nutrients in the body, which can help reduce indigestion that may cause a bloated stomach,” explains Fabrice. “Drinking enough water can help flush out toxins and reduce that bloated feeling, which can sometimes hide abs definition.”
And of course don’t forget: when you exit the gym a sweaty mess that’s your signal to get supping — post-workout rehydration is vital for restoring water reserves lost during intense workouts and to help the process of muscle protein restoration. Now that’s your cue to go and grab a big glass of water.