Got Change?

We are creatures of discontent…residing on a perpetual rollercoaster of dissatisfaction.  Dissatisfied with our spouse, dissatisfied with our jobs, our bank accounts, our bodies, etc.  We yearn for change in our present circumstances and situations – wishing that things were different or the way that they used to be.  But in our quest for “something better” more often than not we lack the willingness to truly change the foundation of who we are.  

If you want change, then you have to be willing to change!  The source of all of our discontent and turmoil resides within us.  And our external environment is simply a mirror to the inner turmoil. Once you truly awaken to that reality it will then serve as a lynch pin to a legitimate change in your circumstances and external surroundings.  Everything begins to feel lighter and life flows smoother.  You will notice a shift in the people around you.  You will notice a shift in habits that no longer serve you, and realize they never really did.  For me personally it was alcohol.  If I’m being honest, I probably averaged well over 12 beverages per week, for years.  But after taking an honest look, I realized it was diluting my true self, numbing the pain of what I didn’t want to deal with, and keeping me in servitude to my ego.  Now, I wouldn’t go as far to say I was an alcoholic, but it certainly was diminishing my day to day life.  And once I let go a funny thing happened.  Things got better!  My energy returned, my creativity increased, my workouts improved, and my personal relationships began to take a noticeable shift in a positive direction. 

Rather than fighting upstream it’s much easier to let go and accept all the possible outcomes that may result – both the good and the bad.  But the irony is, once you do this more often than not…things turn out better in the long run – in every capacity.    

So I encourage you to take inventory of your personal habits, whether it’s regarding the gym or just life.  And by taking ownership of your dissatisfaction you just might discover why things are the way they are.  Getting out of your own way is all that is required.  All you have to do is…change.     

Exercise your body and your mind will follow

When it comes to exercise, most of us focus on the physical benefits: more endurance, more strength or a leaner appearance. 

These are worthwhile reasons, but it is the feelings we experience from regular exercise that keep us coming back. Consistently feeling empowered, self-confident and energized holds more weight. But even better, exercise has a significant effect on mental health.

There’s no doubt that exercise can be beneficial to some of the more than 40 million Americans who the National Alliance on Mental Illness says experience some form of mental illness, which includes anxiety and depression. Or to the 24 percent of Americans who the American Psychological Association said suffered from extreme stress in 2015.

So let’s explore the three most common mental ailments and the effect that exercise can have in helping those who are experiencing them.


Stress can wreak havoc on your body. The muscles in your neck and shoulders become tense, back or neck pain manifests, and even painful headaches can develop. More severe cases include feelings of tightness in the chest, accelerated heart rate, insomnia and gastrointestinal issues as well. 

Exercising is a great way to cope with stress. The endorphins released during exercise in the brain actually help relax tense muscles and relieve tension in the body. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, which helps the brain’s response to stress. 

Essentially, we become both physically and mentally more capable of dealing with what life throws at us more easily — something definitely to consider the next time you want to skip your workout because you are too stressed.


Exercise is a natural and effective way to treat anxiety. Endorphins again are a big contributor to alleviating symptoms of anxiety. Even more surprisingly, psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety suggest that even a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. As little as short bursts of 5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise throughout the day stimulate anti-anxiety effects. 

This is extremely encouraging considering that time constraints are one of the main reasons that Americans don’t exercise. Taking time to go for a quick daily walk, using the stairs instead of the elevator or simply getting up from the desk for a posture break can prove to be very beneficial if you are feeling anxious. 


Consider these findings by behavioral psychologist and researcher Andrea L Dunn, PhD:

▪  The antidepressant action is one of the most commonly accepted psychological benefits of exercise. 

▪  Patients diagnosed with depression have credited exercise with being an important element in comprehensive treatment programs for depression. 

▪  It also appears that both a onetime exercise session and chronic exercise training programs have a positive effect on people with clinical depression. 

▪  Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication.

Exercise has a powerful effect on depression for numerous reasons. First are the changes in the brain, which include neural growth, reduction in inflammation and the feelings of calm and well-being from those feel-good endorphins. Also, exercise can serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some reprieve from the negative thought patterns of depression.

Overall, the important thing to remember is that some exercise is always better than none. This is the biggest takeaway. While following a structured exercise regimen of resistance training and cardiovascular training is ideal, not everyone can commit to five days a week in the gym, particularly if you are just starting out. 

But take comfort in knowing that even 5-10 minutes of daily activity can produce a positive impact and give you more ease when dealing with mental stress. The point is to start somewhere and make it a part of your weekly routine. From there you can build momentum to add a little more as you gain confidence. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have, and the more you’ll want to engage in it. Your body and mind will always be better for it.

Strategies for Overcoming Plateaus

The dreaded plateau: Anyone in the fitness game long enough will most likely encounter one.

It typically goes like this: You’ve been consistently working out for several months, eating better, feeling great overall and becoming excited that your clothes are starting to fitting loose — everything is working!

Then all of a sudden, the magic abruptly stops. What gives?

Unfortunately, the human body can be quite stubborn. It is continually seeking a homeostatic state, making it resistant to consistent change. The truth is, your body would prefer to keep the status quo and is very smart when it comes to adapting to exercise and dietary changes.

This can create a great deal of frustration, especially when it comes to fat loss. Essentially, it becomes a chess match against yourself.

Fortunately, there are numerous ways to troubleshoot if you find yourself in this situation. Outlined below are some strategies that can help regarding the three areas that might be the source of frustration: nutrition, exercise or recovery.

Remember: It’s a chess match, and it’s more effective and easier to determine what is working by making one change at a time.
Also remember that the body inevitably has to comply as long as you stay the course. Be patiently persistent and stay one step ahead at all times, and you’ll put that plateau in the rear-view mirror for good.


As contradictory as it may sound, it could be that you’re not eating enough.

While a reduction in calorie intake works in the beginning of any weight-loss attempt, eventually your metabolism will actually slow down.

This is because the body’s survival mechanism kicks in. The body gets to a point where it senses a lack of control and the possibility that it is being starved. When this happens, our thyroid actually begins to produce less calorie-burning hormones, and our progress stops.

A trick that can be used to avoid this is “caloric cycling.” Rather than continuing to take in the same number of calories each day, we throw in a higher-calorie day one to two times per week.

For example, if you have been consuming 1,500 calories per day, bump your calorie intake up to 2,000 calories after three consecutive low days. This signals to your body that you are not going to starve, and there is no need for survival mode.

Also, make sure you are getting good-quality, nutrition-dense food every day. This allows our bodies to adequately refuel from workouts, rebuild muscle and help maintain high amounts of energy. Remember that it takes calories to burn calories.

A healthy diet includes fruits and vegetables at every meal, quality carbohydrates, protein-dense foods and healthy fats.

Remember that carbs should be reserved for postworkout or physical activity if fat loss is a goal. This is because the body is most tolerant of carbohydrates after a workout than any other time. Also, it will help refuel the body without any carbohydrate “spillover” into fat storage.


Undertraining: It’s easy to get lulled into the same routine. If you find yourself consistently doing the same exercises, sets, reps and same mode of cardio week in and week out, then this is simply a case of adaptation setting in. Quite frankly, it’s time to take it to the next level.

This involves disrupting your comfort zone. You can do this by either increasing the number of reps or the amount of weight you are lifting during strength-training sessions. If your cardio sessions have been strictly steady-state up to this point, try mixing in some interval training one to two times per week.

Overtraining: On the flip side, there is such a thing as trying to do too much. When results come to a screeching halt, the natural instinct is to think: “Well, I just need to do more!”

All of a sudden you are doing everything under the sun: Tabata, weights, running, kickboxing, zumba, workout videos — anything and everything. Slow down, killer!

The body needs to recuperate from the demands that are placed on it. By continuing to keep the foot on the accelerator, we can actually start losing results — or worse, you can get injured.

Working out too hard for too long can overload the hormonal system, create chronic inflammation and increase the production of cortisol, which makes us more likely to hold on to fat stores.

So rather than adding more exercise at that plateau, give your body a much-needed break by taking one to two weeks off from structured exercise and replacing it with some light recreational activity instead.

Sometimes just giving your body a moment to breathe is all it needs to reboot to the updated and improved version of yourself.

Try switching modes of exercise: This is a simple, yet very effective method. You’re not changing anything exercise-wise, just gaining a new weapon of choice. Regarding strength training, this may involve switching from machines to free-weights, free-weights to body-weight exercises, barbells to dumbbells and so on.

The same goes for cardio machines. Try the rowing machine or step mill if you have been glued to the elliptical for the last two months. Any switch-up is worth trying. Surprising enough, this does the trick in a lot of cases.

Train for an event: This shift in mindset can be the magic ingredient for a lot of people. It’s important that your fitness routine address more than scale. Weight loss can be an emotional roller coaster, and many people aren’t willing to stay on that plan for the long haul.

The scale can have you jumping for joy one day and crying the next, but the exhilaration of crossing the finish line at a Color Run or conquering a Spartan Race is something that will stay with you forever.

And more often than not, the pounds will continue to come off as a result of your training. So in addition to creating good memories and getting into fabulous shape, you become lean and mean in the process.


Unloading: Recovery is the yin to the yang of exercise. As previously stated with overtraining, sometimes it’s a matter of giving the body a chance to actually adapt to the training demands that are being placed upon it.

At a minimum, you should “unload” with a lighter workout week every four to six weeks of training. It’s during this period that our body finally gets a chance to play catchup and physically adapt to the training demands placed upon it.

This is where we experience increases in strength and endurance as we carry over into our next training cycle and even experience more reduction in the fat loss we’re after. You can unload by cutting your workout times in half, decreasing your intensity or simply just participating in recreational activity.

Sleep: Sleep is huge. Let me say that again. Sleep. Is. HUGE! And it may be one of the reasons why you’ve hit a plateau.

Sleep has been said to be the “athlete’s steroid.” The National Sleep Foundation recommends at least seven to eight hours a night. It is during this time that we produce human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is important in tissue repair, healing, muscle growth, brain function, bone strength, energy, endurance and metabolism. Additional benefits include improved cognitive function, increased reaction time and better immune system function.

There isn’t really any downside to getting adequate sleep, and it’s a critical part of continuing to get results from training and feeling 100 percent.

Jason Wanlass is the owner of Champion Fitness Training in Meridian. Contact him at or

Plan today for good habits tomorrow

It’s no surprise that many of you are resolving to improve your health and maybe shed a few pounds this year.

Four Common Fitness Misconceptions

Every time we hit this point in the year I feel a strong obligation to “keep it real” for you all.

Some of you might be putting off workouts until January, while others might be getting a head start on “next year.” Regardless of where you are on your fitness journey, I thought now would be a good opportunity to clear the air on some common misconceptions.

Not only is it important to be armed with the right exercise program, but it’s equally important to have more awareness about falsehoods. That way you can maintain the drive to keep going throughout the year even when you feel you aren’t making any progress. So as you embark on your quest with high hopes and renewed motivation to conquer all of your goals in 2017, now you will know how to handle any or all of the following fitness myths that may work their way into your consciousness.

▪  Weight training will make me bulky (specifically women): Did you know that only 12 percent of women weight train? This has to do mostly with the misconception that weight training will make them bulky. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Typically we envision men’s physiological response to weight training, but there is a significant difference in how the sexes respond. This is mainly because of our hormone differences. Men respond to weights by increasing in mass due to their high testosterone levels. In fact, men’s testosterone levels are 15 to 20 times higher than women’s on average.

So how does weight training actually help change women’s bodies? Growth hormone secretion is nearly three to four times greater during weight training for women compared to cardio. Growth hormone plays a primary role in mobilizing fat for energy (i.e. fat loss) and sparing glucose (carbohydrate stores) during exercise. In other words, there is a greater likelihood that fat will be the preferred fuel used during weight training instead of carbohydrates. Also, more fat is utilized to aid postworkout recovery after a weight training session compared to cardio. And last, women generally adapt to weight training by recruiting more muscle fibers as opposed to increasing the size of the muscle fibers like you see in men, giving them a leaner appearance.

▪  Spot reduction works: You cannot use specific exercises targeting the area that you want to get smaller. Banging out thousands of crunches alone will not slim your midsection. Nor will spending hours on the inner/outer thigh machine at the gym to lean out your legs —period. All despite what those amazing infomercial companies claim with their latest version of “ab blasters” or “thigh masters.” This type of localized fat reduction simply isn’t possible. The only thing “amazing” is that enough people still buy into it.

The truth is, there is no direct line from the abdominal muscles to the abdominal fat, or from the leg muscles to the leg fat, etc. Exercise requires energy, which comes in the form of either carbohydrates or fat. During physical activity, your liver sends some energy, in the form of sugar or fat, to the part of the body that needs it most depending on the activity.

In other words, if you are doing squats, that energy is going to be sent to your legs. But that fat could have been sent from your arms, legs or back — anywhere. When fat is mobilized from a particular area, it is first sent to the liver to be routed toward its final destination for usage. This is mostly determined by a genetic predisposition. Your body will have areas it will draw from more often and others not so often (aka your stubborn area). The only full-proof plan is the combination of a consistent well-balanced exercise program with solid nutritional intake. Which brings us to our next misconception. …

▪  I’m working out, so I can eat whatever I want: It is very common for people to think that exercise gives you a hall pass to eat whatever the hell you want. Absolutely not! Garbage in, garbage out; and your exercise performance and results will reflect that. Think of it this way: It takes only five to 10 minutes to consume 1,000 calories on a fast-food run, while it would take two hours of jogging at a 12-minute-mile pace to burn off 1,000 calories. You can quickly undo any progress you are making in the gym with a poor diet, particularly if you are trying to lose fat.

Want to get lean and mean? Then you better start eating clean. Fruits. Veggies. Whole grains. Lean proteins. Healthy fats. And the occasional indulgence is acceptable and healthy as well. I enjoy a good beer or a small dessert after dinner. But 80 percent to 90 percent of what goes in is high-efficient fuel that will drive my performance, give me energy and keep me healthy. So I encourage you to do the same. Pay attention to what you are eating and how you are eating. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and nutrition is highly individualized. Start with the basics, then tinker and modify until your body responds in the most positive way and you discover the formula that works best for you.

▪  I’m not losing any weight, so my program must not be working: The scale could quite possibly be the single worst indicator for measuring results when it comes to fitness. As most of you know, I tend to advocate measuring results based on improving overall fitness, but I do realize that most of you reading this would like to see a reduction in body fat, which is perfectly acceptable when done correctly. But please note, the scale can be the most deceptive method of measurement — ever.

I have had countless experiences with new clients who see little to no change in weight within the first few months of getting started. However, their clothes are fitting looser and their circumference measurements are going down. How is this possible? There is a simultaneous change in fat loss and muscle gain. If you were to lose 5 pounds of fat while gaining 5 pounds of muscle, the scale is obviously not going to reflect that.

Some other things to remember. First, your body will eventually hit a ceiling in muscle gain. In other words, you aren’t going to continue packing on muscle for every pound of fat loss. Second, having more muscle increases you metabolism. For every pound of muscle, you burn 30 to 40 calories per day. So if you did add 5 pounds of muscle, that’s an extra 150 to 200 calories you are burning daily. And the last thing to remember, muscle is much denser and occupies less space than fat. If you look at the comparison of 5 pounds of muscle to 5 pounds of fat, the difference is pretty remarkable.

In other words, having more muscle is a very good thing and is only going to make a lean, mean, fat-torching machine!

What does it take to get results?

Over the past 14 years I’ve had the opportunity to train hundreds of individuals.  All with their own stories, histories, and expectations.  And during that time I’ve developed a pretty keen sense in reading people.  More times than not I know within the first five minutes of meeting someone if they are truly going to “make it” when it comes to changing their lifestyle.  That’s not to say that it won’t happen for them at some point, but they simple aren’t ready yet.  You see…people come to me in hopes of being inspired and motivated, but the fact of the matter is the ball is always in their court.  At best all I can do is create opportunities for success, guide them along, and be their cheerleader.  But ultimately…if you REALLY want to change it’s something that only you can do.  Don’t get me wrong!  Having a trainer and a strong supporting cast does play a major role in the process, but it’s still a secondary one and putting those pieces in place is only the start.  At the end of the day it’s you that has to find the motivation to get up and burn while the rest of the world continues to sleep. It’s you that will have to spend less time with people who subconsciously want to keep you exactly where you are.  It’s you that will have to indulge less and actually start acting like you give a shit about what you put into your body.  And it’s you that will need to realize that you deserve to feel and live better than you currently are AND also do what it takes to get there.  So the question is how do you do it?  Or even better…what type of person do I need to become to do it?  Lately I have been reflecting on that exact question and even more specifically, I have been thinking of those I’ve had the pleasure of training over the last 14 years who were truly awakened, embraced the process, took power and ownership of themselves back, and became the change.  So without further ado…here’s what I have discovered.

Finding a purpose: It all begins here.  Getting into shape just for the sake of being in shape will not create the solid foundation and driving force to keep you in the game for the long haul.  Nor will body image goals like “getting skinner” or “losing the beer gut.”  Body image goals are the equivalent of chasing a carrot on a stick.  We constantly keep the lens focused on what we don’t like about our bodies even once we have reached our original weight or body fat goal, ultimately leaving you in a perpetual state of dissatisfaction.  There’s nothing “healthy” about that.  Besides, results are measured far beyond “how we look.”  I understand the nature of wanting to look better, but it’s the feelings we associate with it that we are after.  Having more confidence, feeling empowered, increasing our self-esteem, and overall happiness is what we are truly after.  Once you start training with more of a purpose you quickly make a mental shift towards the feelings you are after.  Your purpose can be a wide variety of things.  Being able to have the stamina to keep up and play with your kids…being their role model.  Participating in a event you’ve always wanted to like a 5K, Spartan Race, Backpacking Trip, or even playing in a sport you enjoy.  Getting out of a state of chronic pain.  I’ve known too many people dealing with back, shoulder, and knee issues on a daily basis.  Getting your body to the point where it complies to what you want to do instead of limiting what you can do is incredibly empowering!  Find and establish what is going to drive you as soon as possible and let that be the life force to your workouts.  Then fitness becomes a part of who you are opposed to something that you “have to do.”

Get Competitive: There’s nothing wrong with being competitive and this is something I encourage you to fully embrace.  I’m not saying that you have to beat everyone in the gym at everything.  But at least be competitive with yourself.  Establish goals within the workout.  How many reps you want to do?  How much weight do you want to lift (safely)?  How fast do you want to complete a circuit?  Drive yourself.  Challenge yourself.  Push yourself.  Your here to get better right?  Then train like it.  Begin to get a sense of where your fitness comfort zone is and push yourself just outside of that when you train.  The only exception would be on a recovery day or unloading week.  But even then you want to stay focused on being disciplined and seeing the benefit of holding back in that moment.  Once you discover where you fall in this fitness realm then you can begin to size up everyone else if it suites your personality and drives you.  It is said that we are the average of the five people closest to us.  This goes for training too.  Trying to hang with someone that’s just a little more skilled and fit can propel you to the next level.  So again…embrace being competitive…you’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll accomplish.

Know your numbers: We use 12 fitness tests in our gym that measure strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance.  We track these numbers and test quarterly.  This is how fitness is measured.  More specifically, this is how RESULTS are measured.  Bigger, stronger, faster it what we are after.  Ironically, this is how you catch both the carrot and the stick.  I’ve never seen a person with an elite level of fitness that didn’t look like they were chiseled out of stone.   Working to improve in all of these areas will have you accomplishing more physically and mentally that you could possibly imagine.

Be a Weekend Warrior: Workouts should carry over into life outside of the gym.  Don’t get me wrong…I enjoy my workouts and improving at my fitness test, but not nearly as much as what it allows me to do everywhere else.  Continuing to play at a high level in all areas of life is what the workouts give us.  For me personally it’s being able to participate in Spartan Races, play football, softball, volleyball in recreation leagues at a competitive level, having the endurance to play all weekend with friends and family without feeling like I got hit be a bus for a week afterwards.  It can be different or the same for you.  These are just my examples.  But I implore you to find something that keeps you active and that you’re passionate about outside for the gym and let that be another source of fuel for your workouts.

Workouts are non-negotiable: It’s simple.  The ones who “make it” always find a way to get a workout in opposed to finding an excuse for why they can’t.  This is because of all the previously stated points.  The workouts are now a part of who we are and not only improve the nature of who we are physically, but who we are mentally.  Workouts make you sharper, more focused, more efficient, and overall a friendlier and better human being day to day.  Cheating yourself from a workout now means you are cheating your true self.  Whether it’s your stress reliever after your work day, recharging at lunch, or setting the bar first thing in the morning, it becomes a necessity.  Again…it’s a part of you.

Take Nutrition Seriously: There are two extremes that need to be avoided.  One is the thinking that exercise gives you a hall pass to eat whatever the hell that you want.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Garbage in garbage out.  And your exercise performance and results will reflect that.  Two is thinking that food needs to be restricted to ridiculous proportions in order to get lean and mean.  Again, nothing could be further from the truth.  You shouldn’t fear food or fear calories!  If you deprive yourself of food you’re only slowing metabolism down and increasing how much fat your store because your body thinks there is a famine. Food is fuel.  Do you freak out every time you put gas in your car? No. Food is the same thing for our bodies.  Want to get lean and mean?  Then you better start eating clean…and often!  Fruits. Veggies. Whole grains.  Lean Proteins.  Health Fats.  And the occasional indulgence is acceptable and healthy as well.  I’m not the food nazi…far from it!  I love a good beer.  Sometimes several.  A small dessert after dinner…etc.  But 80-90% of what goes in is high efficient fuel that will drive my performance, give me energy, and keep me healthy.  So I encourage to gain knowledge in this area.  Pay attention to what you are eating and how you are eating.  There isn’t a one size fits all approach and nutrition is highly individualized.  Start with the basics, then tinker and modify to until your body responds in the most positive way and you discover the formula that works best for you.

Always Expect more:  Continue to be driven and expect more out of yourself.  Limitations are only illusions that the mind creates.  Avoid self-limiting phrases like “I’ll never be able to do that.”   You immediately build a ceiling for yourself be doing so!  Keep your mind and expectations open to all possibilities.  Be an inspiration to yourself and to others.  Find a way and get it done whether if it takes days or years.  Keep moving forward.  Whether it’s completing your first marathon or coming back from an injury, focus on the desired outcome and let it pull you forward.  And last…never become complacent.  We are designed to grow and evolve physically and mentally.  There is no place that we arrive.  Our journey if forever going.  Take the time to enjoy your accomplishments along the way, but continue to strive for more as you continue on your quest.  It’s your body.  It’s your mind.  It’s your soul.  You are the author.  Write your story the way you want it and go out and get it.

Keep your Head Above Water

There may be times when you wonder why your energy levels are so low or why you’ve been feeling more fatigued than usual. Often it’s a result of simply not drinking enough water.

Since the human body is about 70 percent water, it only makes sense that water intake is key for maintaining optimal energy on a daily basis. Sufficient hydration is crucial to every physiological action that takes place in your body. Water is involved in the digestion of food, helps lubricate joints, is a carrier of nutrients to cells, affects hormone regulation and is the main component of blood.

Proper water intake is also a key component of weight loss. Fat metabolism simply does not occur at an optimal rate when we are chronically dehydrated.

Even when it comes to exercise performance, the importance of water is often forgotten. Much of our attention is focused on finding the right foods for fueling our workouts. But inadequate hydration can hinder exercise performance as well.

And you can’t rely on thirst as an indicator. If you wait until you are thirsty to rehydrate, you have already lost 1-2 percent of your body weight, which results in a decrease in performance and loss of mental focus and clarity. This is primarily due to a reduction in cardiovascular output, metabolic reactions and an increase in core temperature since water is the body’s coolant during exercise.

Needless to say, maintaining hydration can be a real difference maker when it comes to exercise performance. Outlined below are tips and specific guidelines for proper daily water intake and throughout the workout spectrum (pre-, post- and during).

Daily Intake

Current research from the Institute of Medicine found that the average water loss per day was nine cups for women and 13 cups for men, which is the minimum daily recommendation for each sex, respectively. If you’re active, then you need more.

Eating your fruits and vegetables will supplement that daily minimum. Some 19 percent of our fluid intake also comes from food (approximately 4 cups on average). Fruits and vegetables are water-dense foods and are great for getting additional hydration. Plus, they are packed with nutrients, high in fiber and low in calories, which can aid in weight loss as well. Here are some of the most water-packed foods you should add:

▪ Squash (cooked): 94 pecent

▪ Cantaloupe: 90 percent

▪ Oranges: 87 percent

▪ Apples: 86 percent

▪ Pears: 84 percent


By “pre-hydrating,” you will ensure that you begin physical activity adequately hydrated and with normal electrolyte levels. As a general rule, aim for 16 ounces 30 minutes prior to exercise.

During Workout

Remember, if you wait until you are thirsty, then your performance has already suffered. Aiming for 6-12 ounces every 15-30 minutes will match the rate of fluid loss under most circumstances. Also, most sport beverages that contain a low concentration (6-8 percent) of carbohydrates and electrolytes can be even more beneficial for longer or more intense workouts since they help to maintain sufficient energy and electrolyte levels in addition to just water.


After a workout, fluid intake is necessary to aid in recovery since losses in both carbohydrates and sodium hinder the process of rehydration. As a general rule, 24 ounces right after a workout or, more specifically, 24 ounces per pound of body weight loss.

Beat the Heat

Increases in temperature naturally increase the rate of fluid loss in the body. At a minimum you should increase your intake by 16 ounces a day once the weather gets significantly warmer. In some cases, daily fluid needs could be as much as double as normal. Monitoring your weight changes throughout the day and pre- and post-workout can serve as an effective gauge as well.

Jason Wanlass, the owner of Champion Fitness Training in Meridian, has more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry. Contact him at or He writes a monthly fitness column.

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