Don't Drink Too Much Water
Yep, that's right. Don't drink too much water. We all know the importance of staying 'hydrated' but you have to know when enough is enough. There is such a thing as over-hydration!
You might have heard of something like 'drink at least 8 cups of water a day' or 2 litres on average. These are arbitrary numbers produced by companies that sponsor 'scientific' research into hydration techniques. These companies include some of your household favourite bottled water companies like Evian or energy companies like Gatorade. These figures are just made up so you feel compelled to buy more of their product. Check out their advertisements! Notice how these companies portray hydration as not only vital but will get you 'ahead of the game'? Funnily enough none of it is true and if anything they are advising you to over-hydrate which can lead to weight gain, water-retention and health complications including death.
"This is a real problem in sports. At least 12 athletes have been killed by overhydration."
Winter, George. "Over-drinking can be deadlier than dehydration." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 26 Mar. 2012. Web.
"In Runners World magazine, Gatorade ran an ad that looked like an article titled Hydration 101. It included tips like 'Drink Early and Often,' 'Don't wait until you feel thirsty' and 'Always Drink Sports Drinks.'"
Gatorade Sports Science Institute: Hydration 101. Advertisement. Runner's World. June 2002: Print.
You read correctly, over-hydration can make you gain weight, and not the good kind of weight. Your body is made up of over 70% water, therefore it is going to take a lot for us to get to a state of dangerous dehydration, but it takes much less to reach a state of dangerous over-hydration;
"In a study of the 2002 Boston Marathon, nearly one sixth of the runners studied were shown to have hyponatremia. These runners drank so much during the race that by the finish line, they actually gained weight."
Almond, Christopher SD, et al. "Hyponatremia among runners in the Boston Marathon." New England Journal of Medicine 352.15 (2005): 1550-1556.
How much you drink is really, shockingly, up to you. The nanny state which tells us what to have and how much to have is great for companies to take advantage of and make you buy their product 'for your own benefit' when really it's for their own benefit. All you need to do is drink WHEN YOU ARE THIRSTY. If you drink when you are thirsty you will survive...and indeed be just fine! You don't need special water; bottled water isn't any better for you than tap water (as long as it's not riddled with disease like cholera).
Little tip; don't reuse plastic bottles either. Grades of plastic are important. most commercial bottles of water have a plastic grade of about 3. DO NOT reuse a water bottle that has a plastic grade less than 5. The reason for this is that lower grades of plastic will start to erode into water if used too much or is an old plastic bottle. Plastic is poisonous; stick to a decent plastic water bottle and forget the commercial stuff.
When you exercise you do indeed use a lot of water to keep the body going, to sweat and for a bit more energy during the session. The guide however isn't to drink profusely but to only drink WHEN THIRSTY. Don't drink as much as is tolerable; drink when you feel like you need one. Leave the 'tolerable drinking' to nights out which are (usually) much less frequent than every day exercise.
Do you really need Lucozade or Gatorade during your workout? As someone who has tried out these supposedly 'exercise-enhancing' drinks I can say from personal experience that they have little to no effect aside from giving you a 5-10 minute sugar rush; which isn't handy when workouts usually last upwards of 30 minutes at a time. Water is fine, drinking it when thirsty is all you need and should want. Why develop a water-belly when you want that cool defined look? Water is a necessity and should always be treated like one. Water is not something to overload on for so many reasons.
Think for yourself. Look after yourself. Don't drink up, drink smart.....dear god that's good :D