Water is essential for life. A few days without it could result in death, it’s that important. Therefore, considering a hydration strategy, especially when exercising in the heat, is essential for overall health. We lose water through breathing, sweating, and the production of urine and feces. Exercise accelerates the rate of water loss, making strenuous exercise, especially in the heat, a possibility of causing cramps, dizziness, and heat exhaustion or heat stroke if not ingesting an adequate amount of fluids. Correct fluid intake is an important priority for those who exercise and those who do not exercise in the heat. Water makes up 60% of our body. This is why it is incredibly important to many different roles in the body.
The role of hydration in the body:
Water has many important jobs. From a solvent to a mineral source, water plays a role in many different functions. Here are some of the important water jobs:
– Water acts as a solvent or liquid that can dissolve other solids, liquids and gases. You can transport and transport these things in various ways. Two of the most important functions of water are the fact that water carries nutrients to cells and removes waste products from cells.
– In the presence of water, chemical reactions can occur when otherwise impossible. Because of this, water acts as a catalyst to accelerate enzymatic interactions with other chemicals.
– Drink because the water acts as a lubricant! That means the water helps lubricate the joints and acts as a shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord.
– Body hydration and fluid exchange help regulate body temperature. Don’t be afraid to sweat! Helps regulate body temperature. When we start to sweat, we know that the body temperature has risen. As sweat remains on the skin, it begins to evaporate, lowering 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, contaminants are removed and lime or limestone is used to remineralize the water by adding calcium and magnesium to the water. Because remineralization varies by quarry location, mineral content can also vary.
What factors determine the amount of water we need?
What factors affect the amount of water we need? All of the following help determine how much water we need to drink.
Climate – Warmer climates can increase water needs by an additional 500 ml (2 cups) of water per day.
Physical activity requirements: more or more intense exercise will require more water; Depending on how much exercise you get, your water needs could double.
How Much We Have Sweated – The amount of sweating can increase water needs.
Body size – Larger people will likely require more water and smaller people will require less.
Thirst: it is also an indicator of when we need water. Contrary to popular belief that when we are thirsty we need water, thirst is generally not felt until 1-2% of body weight is lost. At that point, exercise performance decreases and mental focus and clarity may decrease.
We know why water is important, but how do we hydrate properly? Fluid balance or adequate hydration is similar to energy balance (food intake versus production). It is important to avoid fluid imbalance for health.
We get water not only through the beverages we consume, but also through some of the foods we eat. Fruits and vegetables in their raw form have the highest percentage of water. Cooked or “wet” carbohydrates like rice, lentils, and legumes have a good amount of water where fats like nuts, seeds, and oils have very low water content.
Fluid needs by body weight:
One of the easiest ways to determine how much water you need is by body weight. This would be the basic amount you need on a daily basis without exercise. * Yes, you will need to find a metric converter like this to do the math.
Water needs: 30 – 40 ml of water per 1 kg of body weight
Example: If you weigh 50 kg (110 lb), you would need 1.5 L – 2 L of water per day.
You should drink water constantly (not all at once) throughout the day. The body can only absorb a certain amount of water at a time. Any excessive consumption of alcohol could lead to health problems.
Thirst – As stated above, if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Urine: The color of your urine is also an indicator of your hydration level.
colorless to slightly yellowish – hydrated
soft yellow – hydrated
pale gold – hydrated
gold, dark gold, or light brown – possible mild to moderate dehydration
brown – dehydrated
Hydration + electrolytes strategy:
These simple steps will help you hydrate daily and before and after workouts.
1. Determine how much water you need to drink each day using the body weight formula above.
2. Prehydration: drinking approximately 2 cups of water BEFORE intense exercise ensures adequate hydration to begin with.
3. During exercise: 1 cup (8 ounces) of water mixed with electrolytes (about 3/4 water to 1/4 electrolyte) every 15 minutes or so.
4. After exercise: fluid intake is required to aid recovery. Recovering with a mixture of water, protein, and carbohydrates is a great idea in addition to electrolytes if necessary. Formula: Approximately 15 g of protein, 30 g of carbohydrates, electrolytes and water.