Since the hot days of summer are quickly approaching, now seems like a great time to discuss hydration. This is the time when heat-related injuries are most prevalent, unfortunately. But when you think about the importance the role water plays in the body, it should be a vital component of your diet at all times of the year.
There is no other nutrient more important to the human body than water. While you can go weeks without food, you can only last about 5-7 days without water. According to Duke University, when the water in your body is reduced by just 1 percent, you become thirsty. At 5 percent, muscle strength and endurance declines significantly and you become hot and tired. When the loss reaches 10 percent, delirium and blurred vision occur. A 20 percent reduction results in death.
About 60% of the male body is water, and approximately 50% of the female. Every day, we lose 2-3 quarts of water through urination, sweating and breathing. Since many of the processes within the body rely greatly on water, it is important we replace our fluids regularly to compensate for this loss.
WATER AND EXERCISE
When we exercise, water loss through sweat can be up to 1-2L per hour! According to the American College of Sports Medicine, dehydration is likely to start affecting exercise performance when sweating causes you to lose 2% or more of your normal (hydrated) body weight. That’s more than 51 ounces, or a little over 3 pounds, for an “average” person of 160 pounds. Bodybuilding.com states this “2% drop in body water can cause a small but critical shrinkage of the brain, which can impair neuromuscular coordination, decrease concentration, and slow thinking. Dehydration can also reduce endurance, decrease strength, cause cramping, and slow muscular response.” Water, obviously, is vital in delivering oxygen to muscles and helps the body perform physical labor more efficiently.
Needs vary, but on as a rule of thumb the following can be used as a reference:
|Drink Water||How Much?||When?|
|Before Exercise||8-16 oz||At least 15 minutes before workout|
|During Exercise||4-8 oz||Every 15-20 minutes|
|After Exercise||16-24 oz per pound* lost||As soon as possible|
*Source: SparkPeople.com, “Drinking Water During Exercise” by Dean Anderson, PT & Becky Hand, RD
1) Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
2) Skin can appear healthier when you are properly hydrated. “Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” says says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.
3) Water aids in Weight Loss. One way is through the principle of volumetrics. Clinical trials have shown drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water prior to a meal can suppress your appetite. The water fills your stomach & reduces the tendency to eat more. It also increases your metabolic rate, and promotes the breakdown & elimination of fat cells.
4) Elimination of Toxins. Water will eliminate impurities & toxins from the body through sweat, urine and stool. Research suggests staying hydrated can reduce your risk of colon cancer by 45%, bladder cancer by 50%, and breast cancer as well.
BUT WHAT TYPE OF WATER IS BEST?
I can completely understand the confusion when there is natural spring water, distilled water, tap water, well water, mineral water, artisan water, filtered water, and antioxidant water. In my opinion, antioxidant water is hands down the BEST! And here is way:
1) Strengthens the immune system by delivering a large amount of negatively charged electrons, that adhere to & neutralize the free-radicals (as a result of poor diet, stress, pollution, chemicals, medications, etc) causing damage daily, and premature aging within the body.
2. Raises your body alkalinity. This is high pH water which flushes acidic toxins out of the body. Too many of us are highly acidic. Acidosis is the cause of many diseases. Cancers, chronic fatigue, and many other illnesses thrive in an acidic body.
3. Energizes the body, acting like a super nutrient. When this water restores alkalinity and flushes toxins out the body, the blood is cleaned and able to deliver critical nutrients to the body. This water helps deliver nutrients to your cells more efficiently than tap or other waters, which will give you more energy throughout the day.
4. Hydrates the body better. The molecular structure of antioxidant water is smaller in size making it 6x more absorbable. The water easily penetrates the body at a cellular level, resulting in a continual flood of enhanced hydration & renewal. Cells begin to function for optimal health and peak athletic performance.
I bet you never thought there was so much that could be said about Water, right? Clearly, it plays a vital role in our daily functioning, and ultimately our journey to better health. If you would like to try the antioxidant water that I spoke about, I’d be happy to try to get you a sample so you can feel the difference for yourself! Until next time…
Love & Light,