Water is vital to life. A few days without it could result in death – it is that important. So considering a hydration strategy, especially when working out in the heat is vital to overall health. We lose water through respiration, sweating as well as urinary and fecal output. Exercise speeds up the rate of water loss making extreme exercise, especially in the heat, a chance of leading to cramping, dizziness and heat exhaustion or heat stroke if adequate fluid intake is not met. Correct fluid intake is an important priority for exercisers and non-exercisers in the heat. Water makes up 60 percent of our bodies. So it is incredibly important to for many different roles in the body.
The Role of Hydration In The Body:
Water has many important tasks. From a solvent into a mineral supply, water plays a part in in many distinct functions. Here are some of water’s important tasks:
It can carry and transport these things in a number of ways. Two of water’s most important roles are the fact that water transports nutrients to cells and carries waste products away from cells.
– In the presence of water, chemical reactions may proceed when they may be impossible otherwise. Because of this, water acts as a catalyst to speed up enzymatic interactions with other chemicals.
– Drink because water acts as a lubricant! That means that water helps lubricate joints and acts as a shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord.
Do not be afraid to sweat! It will help regulate your body temperature. As sweat stays on the skin, it starts to vanish that reduces the body temperature.
– Did you know that water contains minerals? Drinking water is important as a source of calcium and magnesium. When drinking water is processed, pollutants are removed and lime or limestone is used to re-mineralize the water including the calcium and magnesium to the water. Because re-mineralization varies depending on the location of the quarry, the mineral content can also vary.
Which Factors Determine How Much Water We Want:
What factors affect how much water we want? All the following help determine how much water we will need to take in.
Climate – Warmer climates may increase water demands by an additional 500 mL (2 cups) of water daily.
Physical activity demands – More or more extreme exercise will require more water – depending on how much exercise is performed, water demands could double.
How much we have sweated – The amount of sweating may increase water requirements.
Body size – Larger individuals will probably require more water and smaller people will need less.
Thirst – Also a sign of when we need water. Contrary to popular believe that when we are thirsty we need water, thirst is not usually perceived until 1-2% of bodyweight is lost. At that point, exercise performance decreases and mental focus and clarity may drop off.
We all know why water is important but how do we go about hydrating correctly? Fluid balance or proper hydration resembles energy balance (food intake vs output). It’s important to prevent fluid imbalance for health.
We get water not only through the beverages we eat but also through some of the food we eat. Fruits and vegetables in their raw form have the maximum percentage of water. Cooked or”wet” carbohydrates like rice, lentils and legumes have a reasonable quantity of water where fats such as nuts, seeds and oils are very low in water content.
One of the easiest way to ascertain how much water you need is by body weight. This could be the basic amount you need daily without exercise. *Yes, you will need to discover a metric converter like this one to do the math.
Water Needs: 30 – 40 mL of water per 1 kg of bodyweight
Example: if you weigh 50 kg (110 lb), you’d need 1.5 L – 2 L of water per day.
You should be drinking water consistently (not all at one time) through the day. The body can only absorb a certain amount of water at one time. Any overzealous drinking could lead to health difficulties.
Thirst – As stated above, if you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Colorless to slightly yellow – hydrated
Soft yellowish – hydrated
pale gold – hydrated
gold, dark gold or light brown – potential mild to moderate dehydration
brown – dried
Hydration + Electrolyte Strategy:
These easy steps can enable you to hydrate daily and before and after workouts.
1. Determine how much water you need to consume on a daily basis using the body weight formula above.
2. Pre-hydration – Drinking about two cups of water BEFORE intense exercise ensures adequate hydration to get started.
3. During Exercise – 1 cup (8 ounces) of water mixed with electrolytes (approximately 3/4 water to 1/4 electrolyte) every 15 minutes approximately.
4. After Exercise – Fluid intake must assist in recovery. Recovering with a mixture of water, protein and carbs is a great idea along with electrolytes if needed.