As a strength coach and personal trainer I’ve been asked questions like, “Whats the best protein supplement to buy?” or “Do I need to take creatine or a multi-vitamin?” My answers always depend on the person’s goals, but what I always tell them is that the best supplement they can take is water.
A supplement is more than protein shakes and vitamins, its anything that supplements and enhances your diet. With that being said, water is the best option to supplement your diet and achieve any fitness goal you have. Let’s get into science real quick- your overall body is 60% water, your heart and brain are 73%, skin is 64% and the muscles and kidneys are 79%. That’s a whole lot of water in very vital organs (specifically the muscles if you’re an athlete or into fitness). Water is involved in almost all metabolic reactions and is used up quickly when training when athletic actions are done (lost in sweat along with heart, lung and muscle contractions). For those who want to get faster, stronger, and possibly gain or lose weight, water is a vital variable in any of those equations.
If you’re an athlete, that means you’re focused on performing at high levels for long periods of time. When performing on the field of play the heart, lungs, muscles, liver, kidneys, brain and spinal cord are all working at full capacity. All of those organs are performing chemical reactions over and over again to keep you playing- that requires a lot of water. Therefore, not only is it useful to drink water to perform, but also to recover those aforementioned organs’ water supply.
If you’re an avid fitness goer and are looking to lose or gain weight, water should also be your supplement of choice. Gaining or losing weight requires digestion and quick distribution of nutrients through the blood to all tissues which in turn boosts your metabolism. Back to science quickly- the blood is almost 80% water and when hydration is low the blood’s viscosity increases. Viscosity just refers to how the blood flows- either like a rushing river (low viscosity) or sluggish tree sap (high viscosity). Therefore, if you want to keep your metabolism high and nutrients flowing through your body, water should be your first choice.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know water’s importance in the body. The general public knows that they need to drink it in order to survive, but don’t know why for the most part. If you attach a filter to the pipes of your home, or buy a external filter such as a Brita, water can cost at most $50. After that initial purchase your body could be getting it’s most important supplement all day long and fast tracking you to your performance or fitness goals.
(Written by Coach Khalil Harrison)