My brother in-law once told me during a family dinner that “mashed potatoes are not a lubricant”. I’m sure we were in some sort of competition to see who could eat something the fastest. We’re dumb like that.
While potatoes are not a lubricant water is, and most of us don’t get enough of it on a daily basis. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and the more muscle you have the higher percentage that is. This water is the lubricant that keeps our bodies running smoothly.
Water helps our lungs function at peak capacity. It helps our muscles perform and recover. It keeps our joints moving smoothly. It flushes out the toxins our body creates. It’s kind of like the oil in your car, but unlike the oil in your car you should replace your water daily.
You may have heard that you should drink eight, 8-ounce classes of water (or 64oz) every day. This isn’t bad advice, it just isn’t sufficent as it doesn’t take into the account that we are all different sizes and have different amounts of muscle. As I mentioned earlier muscle holds more water than adipose tissue.
As a general guideline we recommend drinking 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. A 200lb person should be drinking 100 ounces of water, a 150lb person should be drinking 75oz. Compare that to the standard 64oz. In both cases the person would be under hydrated.
As with most things we don’t have the same needs. Luckily the amount of water you drink, is measurable, observable and repeatable. Start with 1/2 your bodyweight in ounces for a couple weeks. See how things go. Make notes on how you feel, how you perform in the gym, how you sleep, etc. After a couple weeks, tweak the amount of water you drink. Keep track of the same markers you were using the first 2 weeks. Do you feel better, same or worse? Is your performance in the gym, better, same or worse? Use the data to make a better decision about your specific hydration needs and keep your body adequately lubricated.
Now go move better.