Learning how to tone the arms can give you a mental headache if you have the wrong sources. And learning how to properly hydrate can also give you a headache even with the RIGHT sources.
Because the science is very unclear as to how much water we need and how to manage said needs.
How does hydration affect your ability to tone your arms?
- Heat absorption within the body. Without enough water, you’ll heat up a lot quicker which will accelerate fatigue when working out your arms.
- Vascular volume. Most of your blood is made of water. And blood is what carries nutrients to different parts of your body.
- Cellular waste. The cells in your body need water to excrete waste.
- Accurate signaling for metabolism. Once you’re parched, expect a decrease in calories burned 24/7!
- Mental focus. This is the MOST overlooked aspect of dehydration. I used to suffer from low grade dehydration and was absolutely amazed at how proper hydration improved my mood and resolve. If your mind is fogged, every single little effort to get toned arms will seem like a mountain.
- Work capacity. Your arm muscles need plenty of water to work at full force. After all, they are mostly made of water!
You can also reduce the following with proper hydration:
- Kidney stones
- Colon cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Blood clots
- Mitral valve prolapsed
- Diabetes fluctuations
Where does all the water go?
- Respiration = 1/3 -1/2 liter per day
- Urine = 1-2 liters per day
- Diffusion = 1/2 liter per day
- Consuming 1000 calories = 1 liter
- Perspiration = 0-5 liters per day or MORE depending on activity level
Notice that perspiration makes water loss extremely variable from day to day. More on this later…
Tips for proper hydration management:
- Do NOT follow the 8 glasses/day dogma. The amount of water your body (and arms) need changes a lot from day to day and you need to be flexible. As stated in the 1989 RDA’s:
- At least half of your fluid intake should be pure water. Over half of the water in juices, sodas and milk is bound to calories as hydration spheres. Thus, you would need to drink TWICE the amount of these calorie laden drinks to get the same amount of hydration as pure water.
- Have no more than 1 alcoholic drink. Moderate intakes of alcohol (1-2 drinks/day depending on weight) reduce the risk of: dementia, heart disease and stroke. But if you have more than this, your body will secrete antidiuretic hormone. The end result? Lots and lots of peeing…
- Have no more than 250 mg of caffeine. This is about 2-4 cups of coffee, 3 espressos or 12 cups of green tea. Once you have more than 250 mg of caffeine, urine output increases a lot. Note: decreases in the stimulatory effect of caffeine (i.e., tolerance) are not accompanied by decreases in the diuretic effect. In other words, just because you no longer feel the “jolt” doesn’t mean you aren’t being dehydrated!
- Limit diet sodas and diet drinks. Low-calorie sweeteners should NOT be consumed in large amounts for health reasons. The jury is still out as to whether massive consumption is safe. Although this has no direct impact on getting rid of arm flab, you should still want to stay as healthy as possible during the process!
- Drink water in between meals. You become dehydrated during this time because of digestion, respiration and perspiration. So make sure you drink small amounts of water in between meals, not just during.
- Don’t assume bottled water is best. Filtered tap water can be just as healthy (and in some cases healthier) than bottled water. Bottled water companies are NOT regulated very well.
- Increase water intake when eating out. Get ready to drink more water when eating out to help buffer all the excess sodium.
- Carry a water bottle. And strive to drink small amounts of water every 1-2 hours. Nalgenes are my favorite water bottles.
- Drink 2 cups of water upon waking. You are very dehydrated upon waking, so make sure you get some water in ASAP. Also, drink at LEAST 2 cups of water after exercise.
- Use urination patterns as an indication of when to stop. Ultra simple, yet effective. If you aren’t sure about how much water to drink, simply increase consumption in a step-wise manner until urination output increases significantly. Sometimes it’s best to figure things out with a little trial and error.
“the actual estimation of water requirement is highly variable and quite complex… it is impossible to set a general water requirement.”
Take home point: it’s impossible to predict how much water your body is going to need every day. Thus, the best approach is to have immediate access to water and drink on demand according to needs.
Learning how to tone your arms doesn’t have to be hard! Trust me. However, being in a perpetual state of dehydration will make things very difficult for you. And in this ultra-busy day and age, will all the caffeine-laden drinks and foods, women are more dehydrated than ever. So make sure you follow my tips in this article and you’ll be well on your way to getting toned arms!