Water is essential to life. A few days without it could result in death – it’s that important. So considering a hydration strategy, especially when working out in the heat is essential to overall health. We lose water through respiration, sweating in addition to urinary and fecal output. Exercise speeds up the rate of water loss making intense exercise, especially in the heat, a chance of leading to cramping, dizziness and heat exhaustion or heat stroke when adequate fluid intake is not met. Correct fluid intake is a significant priority for exercisers and non-exercisers from the heat. Water makes up 60 percent of our bodies. So it’s 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 source, water plays a part in in several distinct functions. Here are some of water’s important jobs:
It can transport and carry these things in many 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 might be impossible otherwise. As a result 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.
Don’t be afraid to sweat! It will help regulate your body temperature. As sweat stays on the skin, it begins to evaporate which lowers 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 adding the calcium and magnesium into the water. Because re-mineralization varies depending on the location of the quarry, the mineral content may also vary.
Which Factors Determine How Much Water We Want:
What factors affect how much water we want? All of the following help determine how much water we need to take in.
Climate – Warmer climates may increase water needs by an additional 500 mL (2 cups) of water daily.
Physical activity demands – More or more extreme exercise will require more water – based on how much exercise is performed, water needs could double.
How much we’ve sweated – The amount of perspiration may increase water requirements.
Body size – Larger people will probably need more water and smaller people will need less.
Thirst – Also an indicator 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.
We know why water is important but how do we go about hydrating properly? Fluid balance or proper hydration resembles energy balance (food intake vs output). It’s important to avoid fluid imbalance for health.
We get water not only through the drinks we consume but also through some of the food that we eat. Fruits and vegetables in their raw form have the highest percentage of water. Cooked or”wet” carbohydrates such as rice, lentils and legumes have a fair amount of water where fats like nuts, seeds and oils are very low in water content.
Among the easiest way to determine how much water you need is by body weight. This could be the basic amount you need daily . *Yes, you’ll need to find a metric converter like this one to do the math.
Water Requires: 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.
Any overzealous drinking could cause health difficulties.
Thirst – As stated above, if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
Colorless to slightly yellowish – hydrated
Soft yellow – hydrated
pale gold – hydrated
gold, dark golden or light brown – possible mild to moderate dehydration
brown – dehydrated
These easy steps will help you to hydrate daily and before and after workouts.
1. Ascertain how much water you will need to consume on a daily basis using the body weight formula above.
2. Pre-hydration – Drinking about 2 cups of water BEFORE extreme exercise ensures adequate hydration to start.
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.