Health & Fitness / fitness

What liquid is the best for hydrating yourself?

Adequate hydration is one of the simplest, yet overlooked practices across your grueling workout and the hours that follow in recovery. Sure your intake of creatine, BCAA’s and protein are consumed like clockwork, but if you’re not staying properly hydrated, all of your hard work (and money) might as well go out the door. It’s all about maximizing that small window of time at the gym, in order to smash your boldest fitness goals. Here I explore the levels of hydration contained in some of the most widely consumed beverages on the planet.


The Beverage hydration index (BHI)



The BHI is a fairly new creation, one that was formed in order to ascertain the hydration levels of popular beverages. The calculations are based on test guinea pigs (ie humans) drinking 1L of water, then having their net urine output measured at 2 hours, and repeated again for each consecutive beverage listed on the chart. 


Coca cola is more hydrating than water


Yes, you read that correctly. However, just like easily reaching your protein needs by way of juicy steak, many vegetarians will be quick to argue what’s coming along for the ride with that protein. Think heated debates about saturated fat and consequential heart disease.


It’s kind of the same when it comes to how you go about quenching your thirst, with the most hydrating beverages not necessarily being the healthiest. The energy density contained within a drink and electrolytes present, are two factors that seem to lift the BHI reading, however on the topic of Coca Cola and other sugary drinks:





Unfortunately, sugar-sweetened fruit juice doesn’t stack up much better, with a significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. So even though orange juice is more hydrating than water, and a great source of vitamin C, it should still be consumed in moderation, always opting for 100% pure content. 


Is coffee bad for hydration?


While coffee does rate as the least hydrating of all the beverages featured on the BHI, you might be curious, does it actually have a dehydrating effect?


Notably, caffeine doesn’t have any detrimental effect to fluid balance. You’ve probably heard plenty of rumours that suggest otherwise, but they’re nothing but a myth! Coffee is regularly used as a performance-enhancer by many endurance athletes, and can also be used in combination with your workout routine to burn fat.


Why water should still be your primary source of hydration


Statistically speaking, you might be surprised that Coca Cola, milk and orange juice are all more hydrating than plain water. But would you really change your predominant source of fluids to any one of these options? The answer is I certainly hope not. I believe the healthiest option is undoubtedly water:


  • Your body is naturally comprised of around 60% water, so it makes sense to support and match nature with the intake of pure water, rather than a synthetic beverage with additives, sweeteners or preservatives.


  • You can drink water in abundance without a rising intake of sugar (synthetic or otherwise), calories, hormones or other unknown ingredients. You also won’t need to include yourself in the statistics for Type 2 Diabetes, heart attacks or gout!


  • In most developed regions around the world, water is cost-free and readily available.


  • I personally gulp down a heap of water during my workout. I wouldn’t be willing to trade that equivalent level in milk, orange juice or refreshing Coca Cola.


  • Water flushes toxins from your system, allowing the body to function optimally, banishing fatigue and boosting productivity, giving you that extra leverage to focus on a great workout and quicker recovery.


I think you’ll agree that feeling dehydrated sucks, especially when you know that so many systems within the body rely on adequate hydration. Choosing the right beverage to rehydrate with is so important for your overall health and fitness goals, especially when habits build over a long period of time- like that daily can of Cola! Make it your focus this week to up the ante on your H2O intakes.

Written by Shannon Davidson

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3 Things to Consider if You are Trying to Lose Weight but It’s not Working

3 Things to Consider if You are Trying to Lose Weight but It’s not Working

This is one of the most common questions I hear: “I have been trying to slim down/lose weight during the past couple of months.  I eat healthy and workout, but I’m still not seeing results.  What can I do?”


I know that each person is different in terms of how their body responds, how they view ‘eating healthy’, etc.  BUT I have found that there are 3 MAIN things that can make a big difference for someone who maintains a healthy lifestyle, but isn’t seeing results they want.  I usually ask the person these 3 questions right off the bat, and 1 or 2 of them pinpoints the area they can clean up to start succeeding in their fitness endeavors:

1) How much water do you drink a day?  

  • If you are working out, you should be drinking AT LEAST a gallon a day= 3.75 Liters approx. or 128oz.  


Why so much water??

  1. Your muscles are made up of 80% water.*If they are not hydrated, your workouts are not at your full potential meaning you are not burning as much fat or building as much muscle as you can during  your  time at the gym.

  2. Water will increase your satiety (making you feel less hungry).

  3. Water can increase your metabolism and burn extra calories:  Drinking 1/2 Liter of water will increase your metabolism 24-30% for 90minutes **; & Drinking 2 liters of water will cause you to burn 96 calories throughout the day.  So drinking a gallon of water will mean you burn about 200kcals a day more!

  4. When you don’t drink water, your kidneys slow down & the liver will help them out.  One of the Liver’s jobs is to convert your body fat into usable energy… however, if your liver is doing the kidneys’ job, it stops breaking down your fat, and your body will store the fat instead.  So, by keeping your kidneys hydrated, you are also allowing the liver to break down more fat.^


What about water poisoning?

  • Yes, it is possible to OD on water.  However, your kidneys are able to process .26 gallons of water per hour (approx 1 Liter) so as long as you’re not downing the entire gallon in an hour, you should be ok :)If you are really concerned, you can check out this site for some more information: “Too Much Water Can Kill”


2) How many servings of vegetables do you eat a day?

  • Aim for 7-10 servings a day.Like water this will help you  feel full and eliminate hunger for unhealthy foods.  Additionally, the nutrients in vegetables will fuel your body’s cells to help them perform optimally which will increase your metabolism and energy level as well.  So you burn more calories through the day, and have more energy for daily life and workouts 

  • 1 serving of vegetables = 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup steamed.

  • If you have problems eating this much vegetables:

    • Use Spinach.  You can steam about 10 cups of fresh spinach into 1 cup for a salad, or you can blend your spinach into a protein shake – the shake will be a green color, but you won’t even notice the flavor.

    • Find ways to substitute vegetables in for a snack— like carrots and hummus, or celery and almond butter.

    • And, you can add vegetables into mealsyou currently eat — like adding in vegetables to you breakfast omelet, or adding some extra into a chicken stir fry or burrito.


Focusing on ADDING in these 2 things (water and vegetables) will automatically eliminate other parts of your diet that are less healthy and you will not feel deprived since you are looking at how to incorporate these new things into your day.  


3) Do you lift weights? If so, do you do it before or after cardio?


If you don’t lift weights, start to, even if it’s in small amounts.  Strive to include weight training at least 3-4 days a week. If you add 3-5 pounds of muscle to your body, you will burn 250-500 extra calories per day which equals 3-5 pounds of fat loss per week. *


If you do lift weights, follow it with cardio.  A study from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) found that:


lifting weights first for 30 minutes and then doing aerobic exercises is the best way to maximize energy used in high intensity training while selectively burning fat efficiently”


This is because your body will use up your creatine, blood glucose, & glycogen during the 1st 30minutes of your workout, then will start to break down fatty acids for fuel after that.  So, Lift first for 30-45 minutes and use all of your power Energy to build lean muscle, then follow it with either moderate or interval cardio for 20-30 minutes which will be strictly fat-burning.


Hope this helps you in your Fitness Journey!  Have a great week!!

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