Hydration Strategies

It’s been a while since my last nutrition post… sorry for that – but I’ve been caught up in training mode since I’m prepping for a boxing fight…

So today’s topic is one that’s very important – hydration.

I’ve chosen this topic because I was woken up this morning by the mailman with a package that contained my new water filter. You’ll learn more about this later.

water

I know staying hydrated isn’t the sexiest or most bad-ass topic I could talk about, but it deserves a piece, so I figured I’d get it done then talk about how to choose the juiciest and ripest melons next time. :O

BUT, if you stick around, I promise you’ll learn a thing or two that will improve your performance, health, and even help you lean out.

Not All Water is Created Equal

This is an important concept as not all the water you drink is the same.

First of all, depending on where you live, tap water may not be ideal for your health. Most water has been treated with chlorine and flouride to get rid of bacteria, viruses, etc.

That’s a good thing, but unfortunately, chlorine and flouride are 2 very potent free radicals.

You’ve surely heard all the talk about anti-oxidants, right? Well, anti-oxidants are good because they fight free radicals. So that means free radicals are bad.

Next, because chlorine kills bacteria, if you drink a lot of tap water that has a lot of chlorine, say bye-bye to some of the good bacteria in your gut. Probiotic supplements are also big sellers because good bacteria do lots of nice things for us, such as digest food, keep bad bacteria like e.coli in check, and other things they don’t get paid for.

So, what water do you drink?

To start, you could go the filtered route.

A Brita filter removes some chlorine and other crap. I used ot do this.

But I’ve actually chosen to go 1 step further and get a 2-stage filter by a company called Aquasana. It was super simple to setup – I just plugged it into my fauce and voila – filtered water with 99% of chlorine and other junk I don’t want gone, such as PCBs, other chemicals that give men breasts/shrink our testicles, remnants of prescription drugs, etc.

Yup – that’s right – water supplies have been shown to contain prescription drugs. That’s just yummy!

But my new filter gets rid of it all, according to the good state of California that certified it. Come on, you can’t NOT trust Ah-nold Schwarzanegger!

Anyway, filtration is one possibility, and I chose it because it’s cheaper than bottled water, and more convenient than having to lug those big jugs around.

Not to mention the fact that many companies simply bottle tap water; having the filter in my own home makes me feel a lot better and not like a schmuck.

PLUS, plastic water bottles are not only bad for the environment, they can also leak chemicals into the water you drink, especially if the bottle is in direct sunlight.

So if you do drink out of plastic water bottles, at the very least keep it out of the sun!

I drink out of a glass bottle myself. Stainless adds a taste to the water I just don’t want to get used to.

 

How Much Should I Drink?

Here’s a general guideline for a good amount:

Drink half of your bodyweight in ounces…

If you’re 200 lbs, that’s 100 oz, or about 3 liters for all metric (and logical) people.

150 lbs, that’s 75 oz, or about 2.5 liters.

If you’re training, drink more, obviously.

And another super-ninja-advanced tip – hammer 500 mL of water first thing in the morning to help you flush your system. If you’ve got problems being ‘backed up’, this can help.

Water 2.0

The next thing to do is to add some more minerals to your water. All the Vitamin water crap they’re trying to sell you nowadays is worthless – it’s just tap water with food colour and synthetic vitamins.

I’m going to get my vitamins from fruits and veggies, thank you very much.

But with our water, we can make it even better by adding a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt, or other quality, unrefined, coloured sea salt to it.

[INTERESTING FACT: Did you know that the Earth is about 70% covered with water, and the human body is about 75% water? And, the amount of salt in our blood is approximately the same as the ocean? KEWL!]

To every liter of water, add a pinch of quality sea salt. Just a pinch is all you need.

Quality sea salts are coloured because they contain minerals (electrolytes) like magnesium and/or potassium, which are lost when you sweat…

What about Gatorade you ask?

Gatorade = High fructose corn syrup + Tap water + Food colouring

I’ll pass on the G, thank you very much. Even if GSP is in your commercial.

If I need carbs because I’ll be training for an extended period of time, then I’ll just mix 100% fruit juice and water at a 50/50 ratio.

Even though the vitamins and minerals have been ANNIHILATED due to pasteurization, I’m just after the carbs, and I’d rather not eat food colour or high fructose corn syrup!!

But if your training is an hour or less or pure strength based, carbs aren’t necessary for a good workout.

I give other guidelines on pre, during, and post-workout drinks in my Nutrition-itsu guide, but those are more advanced for guys who need to build muscle, lean out, or maintain weight during hard training going into a fight. (If this is what you’re after, you get Nutrition-itsu with my Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program)

For general fitness and to be in good shape, follow everything I’ve outlined here and you’ll be the most hydrated and healthy dude in the dojo.

Feedback, comments, or other water recipes? Leave them below please!

Also, if you care about your family and friends, share this post with them using one of the fancy buttons below, or just copy and paste the link into an email. They’ll thank you for it!

 

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Da Monkey
Da Monkey

Good article, exspecially about the prescription drugs. My brother works in the medical research field and they get to dump a certain % of their waste down the drain. I work in manufacturing and we also get a certain % we can dump. I drink only filtered pure since I learned this fact and can tell the difference. If you are worried about your water, leave a bit in a cup for a couple of days, the residue will give you a read on how “good” the water is.

tanner billings
tanner billings

There’s a brand of bottled water out there (the name escapes me) that’s distilled with electrolytes added. I’m with you I can do without vitamin water (which tastes like the rung out a full trash bag in to a bottle) and gatorade (which fills me up and makes me FEEL like a full trash bag). One question, is there any added benefit to drinking distilled water? I thought I heard somewhere it sheds excess water weight more effectively.

Eric

Distilled water is terrible for you – you’ll actually suffer from mineral deficiencies because there’s nothing in the water – it’s literally DEAD water…

Excess water weight might only be happening because you’re eating too much salt/sugar… those things force your body to store more water… lower/elimnate the refined salt, sugar, and carbs from your diet, and you’ll settle in at a good normal level of water retention.

That’s why people who go on Atkins’ type diets lose so much weight so fast – no carbs = less water storage = lots of initial water loss…

Aaron
Aaron

Just a question for you Eric. BTW, I love all the stuff you have on here for hydration.

I know a few fighters around the week of their fight will drink nothing but distilled water because they say it helps remove excess waterweight?

Is this true? Is there a more efficient way to drop the water weight?

jorge gutierrez
jorge gutierrez

very important ,like a good workout
50% training and 50% your food and water.
thank for the info.

Derek
Derek

Hey Eric, I have heard a lot of good things about coconut water from a few different people, including a personal trainer, one of them being that it is a great post-workout recovery drink, especially for long cardio type workouts.

Have you heard anything about this and what are your thoughts? Thanks!

Eric

Coconut water is pretty good because it has medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are a potent source of immediate energy… unlike other fats, you can burn it right away for energy…

Plus, per gram, fat gives you about 9 kcal while carbs give you about 4 kcal, so you get more than double the energy per unit.

Tasty too. 🙂

BUT – not gonna make you win the UFC championship!

Rick Quindipan
Rick Quindipan

I will never drink soda, gatorade or bottled water again. It pollutes the environment and makes my stomach bloated and over acidic. Like you, I have also switched but I went a step further to ionized alkaline water. It has the most powerful anti-oxidant properties, fast absorbing and has tons of therapheutic benefits. I have been drinking this water for over a month now and I am feeling great, sleeping better, I can work out a little more than usual, feel healthier everyday and its just amazing.
With this type of water, I think I can say its no too bad to be 43 years old.

dk
dk

Yoooooooo,wasssup eric,just checked out that aquasonas website and was wondering what do you think about their filtered sports bottle thingy?

Eric

They’re just regular stainless steel water bottles, nothing special…

Like I said – I prefer to drink out of glass… glass doesn’t impart any taste on the water…

Steve

I like it!

Thanks for sharing Eric

cork_boi
cork_boi

Hey Eric,
I’m drinking the recommended amount of water from the Nutrition-itsu, but I can’t stop pissing. Once an hour during the day. Now I don’t mind getting away from the desk at wrok, but this seems a bit high. Any thoughts?

Eric

Try adding a pinch of Celtic sea salt to every 1/2 liter of water… could be the water you’re drinking is really low in total dissolved solids (TDS) so nothing is getting absorbed… Try it and let me know.

cork_boi
cork_boi

Our drinking water at work is filtered, so that could explain the lack of TDS. I didn’t find Celtic Sea Salt in the normal supermarkets yet, so I’ll try the speacality health food shops. I’ll let you know how i get on if and when i do. This is ironic as I actually live off the Celtic Sea.

cork_boi
cork_boi

Yo, couldn’t find CSS, but found another high quality salt (Maldron) which will do for now. Don’t seem to be using the toilet as often so problem appears sorted. Now my co-workers will stop thinking that I have a coke habit!
Thanks Eric.

Sam
Sam

Good post!!! I am so sick of seeing people doing their little 1/2 hour workout at the gym and smashing down the gatorade. The only time when I drank sports drink was during my triathlon days during massive run(2 hours +), ride or brick sessions or at a race ofcourse. Something else you should blog on is the explosion of juice bars. All of these overweight people don’t seem to realise they may as well have a coke if they are having a litre of fruit juice. I am not sure if the juice bar explosion has happened in the US but here in Australia it is massive

Cheers
Sam

Eric

Hah yeah juice bars are everywhere in Canada, I assume in the USA as well…

Especially in gyms, they teach the personal trainers to make all their clients get a ‘post-workout shake’ after their workouts…

Even the ones with 50+ pounds to lose!

Those people shouldn’t be ingesting ANY simple sugars until they’re close to a normal weight, not even from fruit.

Life is about balance – for years overweight people were out of balance by eating too much processed foods, simple sugars, and cheap fats.

That’s why moderation DOES NOT WORK to get back if you’re totally out of it – you need to balance the years of abuse by being VERY clean…

Novan

Thanks Eric, a nice simple article on such an important topic. Hm.. you make too much sense. Maybe I SHOULD buy your conditioning prog.. .

Eric

It’s good money spent… 🙂

Tom
Tom

What do you think about super hydrators like glycerol for those of us who sweat gallons even while at the polar ice caps? 🙂

Eric

Can’t give good advice on this one, as I have no personal experience with glycerol…

However, I do know it’s only used for EXTREME conditions, but the usefulness is still up in the air.

Tom
Tom

Thanks Eric. I was just curious because I tend to get muscle cramps after long duration training and I always supplememt with minerals and electrolytes. Any way to super hydrate other than drinking in the a.m. upon rising?

benteduz
benteduz

water + oxegen = weight loss.,. is it true sir???.,.

Eric

Ummmm, yeah, but you may DIE if you don’t eat something after a while…

Keith
Keith

We used to drink reverse osmosis water but recently switched to this system:

http://www.santevia.com/wellness/santevia_new/index.asp

It filters and then puts the minerals back in.

Eric

Looks interesting – how much?

Joseph
Joseph

Eric,

Great article. I think this is a subject alot of people over look or still don’t get. I had one question. I have a juicing maching and I like to juice alot of veggies and fruits to make my shakes for breakfast and snacks. What is your opinion on juicing machines? Are you losing essential minerals from your fruits and veggies?

Eric

Juicing is great – I just personally find it a pain in the ass and hate wasting so much good pulp and fibre. I’m sure some of the good vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals are stuck in the fibre, so you’re probably missing out on some stuff.

But I do like beet/carrot/apple juices a lot!

Jerrod "Blackout" Leary
Jerrod "Blackout" Leary

Man i cant believe that im the G like Forever dude

Mike
Mike

75oz is a little over 2 and 1/4 quarts or about half a gallon.
100oz is a bit over 3/4 of a gallon or about 3 quarts. For us non-logical people. . .

Ross
Ross

I live out in the middle of nowhere,so i get water from a well. The main contaminant I am worried about is pesticides because there are farms around.
On the tap I have a Brita filter.Ive also considered having a water analysis performed to find out what else might be in my water.
One of the weird things Ive read online,and I guess its true,is that folks will make lemonade and whatnot with tap water but only drink bottled water. Kinda strange huh

Eric

Hah – that’s funny… yeah people do weird things.

If you’ve got a lot of pesticides floating around, try to make fresh ground flax powder a daily thing you eat… you can drink it, or sprinkle it on food…

Flax is great at removing compounds like pesticides…

Youss
Youss

Wang, You’re the $hit dude. The real deal! And we love you for it.

Eric

It’s Wong, prick. 🙂

aaronb
aaronb

lol gota love that ur name is in the url bar as well

Brian
Brian

Great article. It’s important to know what’s going into our bodies. I used to sell water treatment systems, and we tested the tap water vs the filtration system. The conditioned water (probably the closest you’d ever get to pure h2o) tastes so polished and smooth, almost had a sweetness to it, and then taste the tap water…like out of a public washrooms toilet bowl. Now, a word of advise, not every filtration system does the same job. See if you can get a demo , a kind of a taste test. Our system had a five stage filtration system for under the sink. If you cook with it, drink your teas, coffee of juice with it, the taste of the food….the first thing everyone used to say was: WOW! And Eric is right, it does cost less on the long run to get a filtration system than bottled water. And… Read more »

Wayne Magruder
Wayne Magruder

I noticed that your column didnt mention reverse osmosis water. This water has been filtered to death and had just enough minerals put back in it to keep it from being gross. I drink it because I worked for a company that manufactured and installed the equipment. Beware of spring water. Have you ever seen what swims in some of those springs?

Eric

Good point – I did forget to talk about RO water…

I stay away from it because of the excessive filtration (almost as bad as distilled) and the fact that you waste a ton of water with most household systems – it takes some systems 10 l of tap water to give you 1 l of reverse osmosis!!

Gabe
Gabe

so what do you think of all the mixes like accelerate or similar, during a cardio workout? work or fluff?

Eric

My problem with products like that is the addition of unnecessary chemicals like food colouring…

That’s why when I do a protein-carb workout drink, I mix 100% fruit juice with pure, unflavoured whey isolate…

It gives you the stuff you need with none of the junk.

Chemicals must be processed and filtered out by the liver, which is bound to use up some of your energy…

Your body has a finite amount of energy so why waste it?

Gabe
Gabe

so u drink that instead of a mix that promises electrolytes and more and get the same results (endurance, recovery) for a two hours cardio (run,bike,sparing,bag)? so protein and carbs will let me last with the least burn and fastest recovery for half the money? pardon my ignorance..but i am exposed to a daily dosage of advertisements.. i live in the US..

Eric

Yup… plus you DON’T get the crappy chemicals that come in commercially prepared drinks like that…