Are you drinking enough water? I ask my clients and students this important question a lot. We can live without food for about a month, but only about 3- 7 days without water. Staying hydrated is an essential part of our good health and plays a big part in our workouts. We lose water through sweat as we exert ourselves.
By Chris Walsh
Generally speaking, we need about half our body weight in ounces of water per day. If we are working out, we should try for about 20 ounces a few hours prior to exercising and about 8 ounces during the warm up and another 8 ounces for every 10 minutes of moderate to strenuous exercise. Yep- that’s a lot of water!
How much we drink also depends on our age, height, weight, gender and intensity and length of workouts. If you sweat a lot, you may need to drink more. A great post workout drink might be a low-fat chocolate milk.
The body uses water in all its tissues, organs and cells to regulate temperature and maintain healthy functions. Water is the substance of our life. We lose water through our breath, by sweating and in our digestion, so we need to rehydrate regularly by drinking water and eating foods that contain water. Water can be a big cure for some headaches, for fatigue in the body and for joint pain.
Water makes up most of our body. 85% of our brain is water, about 80% of our blood , yep- water, and 70% of our lean muscles mass is water. Water is our life!
We cannot survive without water.
So often people say, “Well, I don’t like water, but I get enough liquid from other sources like soda, tea, coffee, etc…” It’s very difficult for our bodies to retrieve adequate amounts of water from other sources. Water equals water!! Soda and alcohol robs a lot of water from the body. Coffee and tea act as diuretics, which steal water from our body. The best source to supply water to the body, you guessed it…..water!
Water is critical for proper circulation in the body. The levels of oxygen in the bloodstream are greater when the body is well hydrated. The more oxygen the body has available – the more fat it will burn for energy. Without the presence of oxygen, the body cannot utilize stored fat for energy efficiently.
The number one trigger of daytime fatigue is lack of water. Even a small drop in our normal body water can cause difficulty focusing, lack of energy, fuzzy short term memory loss and lack of concentration. It’s important during the day to remind yourself to take water breaks regularly.
Water is the agent to help flush our system of toxins and waste from the digestive track. It’s essential for proper digestion, for nutrient absorption and for chemical reactions. It’s the big transporter of all good and bad in the body.
So many peoples’ thirst meter is so weak that they mistake thirst for hunger or don’t recognize that they are thirsty at all. Even one glass of water can shut down hunger urges which is great for those who are weight conscience. Dehydration can happen any time of year. People often associate it with heat and summer months, but the dryness that occurs during winter can dehydrate the body even quicker than when it is hot. When you are dehydrated you tend to eat more.
The consistent failure to drink enough water can cause lasting complications to the body. One condition, CCD, (Chronic Cellular Dehydration) is when the body’s cells are never quite hydrated enough, leaving them in a weakened state, open to attack from disease. The immune system is weakened, so this can lead to a host of different diseases.
Water is our lifeline, and everyone varies in what they need. The general rule used to be to drink 64 oz of water per day. A better way to look at it now, is a minimum of half your bodyweight just for replacement requirements and more if you are working hard, exercising, sweating, in the sun, etc…..
The best way to hydrate the body and become your BEST version of YOU is with good old fashioned WATER.
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