Seems fitting to discuss hydration as we lead into the warmer months but what most people don’t understand or know is how important it is to our overall health and performance on a day to day basis. Here are some important facts and benefits about proper hydration.
The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the lungs are nearly 90% water. Water is also the single most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development. It is not only the most important nutrient in the body, but also the most abundant. Water is critical to the balance of all the body’s systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles. A 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. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. Studies show that 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration. This is alarming since proper hydration is required for maintaining healthy blood flow, proper kidney function, proper sodium/potassium /electrolyte balance and proper digestive functions.
MORE ON THE BENEFITS: • HEALTHIER SKIN The more hydrated you are the better the skin looks, feels and heals.
• HEALTHIER JOINTS Synovial fluid contains water; if you become dehydrated, less synovial fluid is available to protect the joints.
• HEALTHIER MIND AND BODY Water is essential for nutrient absorption and many chemical reactions in the body for overall health, including proper brain function and improvements in memory.
• HEALTHIER DIGESTIVE SYSTEM Water is important to properly metabolize food. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will help the body process and transport nutrients and excrete any waste products once they are metabolized.
• REDUCES FATIGUE Water is the medium in which all energy reactions take place. If you become dehydrated you will become lethargic, may experience cramping, and endurance and strength performance will suffer. Athletes who become dehydrated often find reduced performance in the days following.
• HELPS IN WEIGHT LOSS Water can suppress appetite naturally and increases the body’s ability to metabolize stored fat.
• REDUCES FLUID RETENTION The body perceives dehydration as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop. Water is stored in extracellular spaces (outside the cell) which can result in swollen extremities (feet, legs, and hands). Diuretics offer a temporary solution, but may cause more harm than good if abused. Why? Diuretics will cause the elimination of water, along with many essential nutrients. Also, the body will perceive this conditioning as a threat and replace the lost water at the first opportunity; this causes bloating and fluid retention once again. Regularly drinking plenty of water will eliminate this problem.
• HELPS BUILD MUSCLE Water is needed to transport nutrients to your cells and transport waste out of the body. Water helps form the structures of protein and glycogen. It is essential that you stay hydrated if you want to build muscle and experience optimal performance in the gym.
• INCREASES MUSCLE TONE Muscles are made primarily of water. Dehydration can prevent muscles from properly contracting, reducing muscle tone.
• REDUCES RISK OF DISEASE Studies have shown that increasing daily water intake has shown to decrease the risk of colon cancer by 45%, reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50%, and it may potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer. It is also believed that water may prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
TIPS TO HYDRATING PROPERLY:
• Drink 8 ounces every hour you are awake. 16 X 8 = ~130 ounces/ day • Drink 16 ounces as soon as you awake in the morning • Carry a water bottle with you at all time to ensure and track water intake • Increase water consumption by at least 20 ounces on days of training in warm temperatures. • Drink at least 8 ounces before, during and after training.
“Eat Clean, Live Well, Perform Better!”
If you would like to set up a nutritional consultation with Eric; email him at firstname.lastname@example.org