Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Proper Hydration

One of my childhood friend’s mom, always would preach to us about the importance of drinking water when we were playing outside in the heat and humidity.  She would say that “water is good for the soul.”  After my training and personal experiences, I would have to agree that she may have been on to something.

By the time you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Once dehydrated, endurance is diminished, strength can drop, and the effect can last into the following day(s). Instead of relying on a signal, drink water at regular intervals regardless if you're thirsty or not.

When I was playing college football, the athletic trainers monitored our weight 4 times per day during two-a-day practices.  The reasoning was the possible health risks (people have died due to heat exhaustion), risk for injury (strained muscles), and lack of performance (endurance and mental clarity).

Total water intake at the reference level of 3.7 liters for adult men and 2.7 liters for adult women per day covers the expected needs of healthy, sedentary people in temperate climates.

Very active individuals who are continually exposed to hot weather often have daily total water needs of six liters or more, according to several studies.

Water has many health benefits. Health benefits include:

·         Healthier skin - dehydration can lead to dry, scaly skin
·         Healthier joints - increase synovial fluid
·         Healthier mind & body - brain is mostly made up of water
·         Aides In Weight Loss - water can suppress the appetite naturally and increases the body's ability to metabolize stored fat
·         Increases Energy - It is the medium for reactions involved in production of energy

The average amount of water lost per day includes:
  • 16 ounces through respiration (average)
  • 16 ounces through invisible perspiration (more if sweat is visible)
  • 48 ounces through elimination
Causes of water loss:
  • Caffeine/alcohol consumption
  • Increased stress
  • Hot, humid environments
  • Increased physical activities

Compliments to water:

To lower blood pressure, blunt the effects of salt, and reduce the risk of kidney stones and bone loss, adults should consume 4.7 grams of potassium per day.

Calcium:on (more if sweat is visible)
Calcium has a number of health benefits.  However, one of its most critical and overlooked benefits is its relationship with water and muscular contractions.  Inefficient muscle contractions or muscle cramping/spasms can often be related to a lack of calcium in your diet.  Without the proper level of calcium in the system, water and other nutrients cannot move through the proper channels.


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