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WATER. It’s Underrated.

Posted August 16, 2013 by Melissa diLeonardo in Life After Five
Water does more than quench your thirst.  Grab a glass!

Water does more than quench your thirst. Grab a glass!

Part of my job as a fitness professional happens outside of the gym.  I aim to practice the healthy habits I preach and to do so I lead an active lifestyle and spread the word about wellness via various blogs and social media.  At least once a month, I post factoids or graphics detailing the benefits of hydration and how it is necessary for overall health.  I am feeling compelled (once again) to tell you, DRINK MORE WATER.

Sources seem to agree that 50-65% of the human body is composed of water. This measurement is comforting. In a world where many of us constantly pinch our “fat” and hate on ourselves post weigh-in, it’s important to remember that a large portion of our bodies is pure, simple, natural, and necessary. Water regulates your body temperature, maintains healthy joints, protects bodily tissues, and aids healthy digestion and elimination.  Your body loses water via sweating and other bodily functions.  Proper hydration is needed to maintain balance.

People presume if they do not live in hot climates or participate in high-intensity exercise the need for hydration is not as great. You burn calories running and you burn calories sitting on the couch (unfortunately, not as many). Regardless of your activity level, you need to drink water, so go grab a glass.  Obviously, a gym sweat session, hot yoga class, or day in the sun will deplete your hydration level.  But, making water a daily habit will keep you covered in any climate and will assist you with both challenging workouts and rest/recovery days.

For active individuals, dehydration will lead to muscle fatigue and poor athletic performance. Muscle cramps and inability to cool down can also result from inadequate hydration. Be sure to drink water before, during, and after your workouts.  Waiting until you feel thirsty is not wise.  At that point the body is typically already dehydrated.

If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight water is essential.  Often we feel hungry, when in fact; we merely need to drink water.  Water can help manage your appetite and cholesterol.  Proper hydration aids in healthy liver function, soothes digestive distress (gas, bloating, etc.), and helps flush toxins out of your system. Water also helps keep skin looking healthy and moisturized, detoxing you both outside and in.

The Mayo Clinic recommends women consume 2.2 liters of water per day (about 9 cups). This can initially seem like a lot of water, but you can take simple steps to get your recommended daily dose of H20.

  • Buy a reusable BPA-free water bottle.  A medium-sized bottle is usually 10-16 ounces. Set a goal to consume 5-6 full bottles throughout your day. Do it.
  • Add lemon or lime to water.  The citrus flavor gives your taste buds a kick and the Vitamin C is good for you!
  • Choose water over sugary drinks.  You will save calories and money!
  • Drink water with every meal.  It will help eat slowly, aid in digestion, and prevent over-eating.

Good health and mindful behavior is obtained through small steps.  One of the easiest and beneficial things you can do for your body is to stay hydrated.

Don’t wait another month for me to remind you, fill your glass right now.







About the Author

Melissa diLeonardo

Melissa is an East Coast native who has made Chicago her home! She has worked in the health and wellness field for over six years and lives to bike, hike, run, lift, and play. As a ReebokONE Brand Ambassador, Certified Personal Trainer via the American Council on Exercise, and a Registered Yoga Teacher, Melissa is down with good health. Voted “Best Personal Trainer” in the 2013 Chicago Reader’s Annual Poll and selected as a global finalist in the 2013 Life Fitness Personal Trainer to Watch Contest, Melissa instructs fitness and yoga classes throughout the north side of Chicago (spinning, boot camp, strength training). She a proud member and assistant coach at CrossFit Chicago and Master Trainer for Life Fitness Academy . Co-founder of the Chicago-based wellness collective, true-2-life.com and Program Manager for Corporate Movement at Life Fitness Corporation, you can follow her on twitter @mdsapphire. Now let's dance!