Water drives every chemical reaction in our body and it is a core component of our weight, health and appearance. Water is absolutely essential when exercising or we rapidly become dehydrated and see corresponding drops in performance and recovery. Our muscles are 70% water and need to be regularly topped up, as every bodily function uses and expels water as part of the natural detoxification processes. This is particularly the case when working out or playing sports. So, make sure you top up at the bottled water coolers in the gym before you start to exercise! Remember that our bodies simply want hydration - they don't want sugars, chemicals or additives, which are often found in commercial 'energy' drinks or sports drinks. These have a role in intense or long duration exercise, but for most people, they simply provide an unwanted sugar rush which prevents the body from burning its fat reserves. Just use basic water, or add a pinch of sugar and salt to rehydrate after a long and intense training session. The bottled water cooler is also ideal for topping up when you go about your daily life. Drink around 1.5 litres at a minimum throughout the day and carry a bottle with you when you travel. If you do heavy lifting or strength training, you may find that whey protein shakes are a practical alternative to eating four-to-six high protein meals a day and water is all that you need to create one; mix it with the powder in a shaker and enjoy with a piece of fruit to restore your glycogen levels after exercise. Water can also play a role in your after-exercise regime; try bathing in epsom salts after an intense workout to top up your magnesium levels and restore the precious mineral and electrolyte balance in your body. These natural salts are highly beneficial, relaxing and can also help to prevent muscle soreness.
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