Water, water everywhere and the place it really belongs is in you . Water is the most indispensable nutrient going . You might not think of it as a nutrient, but it is .Water is a basic building block of life and while you can survive a deficiency of any other nutrient for sometimes months or years, you’ll only last a few days without water . It is involved in almost every process in your body, so it makes sense that if you are not drinking enough, your body will not function at its potential.
Functions of water
• regulates body temperature
• delivers nutrients to cells
• carries wastes away from cells
• helps digest foods
• provides shock absorption around tissues, organs and joints
How do you know if you are in fluid balance?
During exercise, your body temperature rises that’s when you start to sweat as a means of getting rid of some of this extra heat . As you sweat, the water content of the blood decreases . This reduction in blood volume means less blood and oxygen get to the heart and muscles . Muscle fatigue can result, making it harder to exercise . If the water loss becomes severe it can result in confusion, weakness, rapid and irregular pulse, seizures and even death . That’s why drinking water before, during and after exercise is so important . And if you feel like you’re running out of gas during a workout, have a drink of water . Chances are you’ll feel stronger.
Getting enough fluid
During the day
• Drink a minimum of 6 to 8 cups (1500 to 2000 mL) per day
• Start in the morning and drink consistently throughout the day
• Drink two cups (500 mL) of fluid up to two hours before exercise . It takes 60 to 90 minutes for your kidneys to process fluid, so you will have a chance to eliminate any excess before exercising .
• Drink one to two cups (250 to 500 mL) 15 minutes before exercise .During exerciseWith moderate to heavy exercise, you can lose up to six cups of water per hour . When exercising in the heat, a water loss of eight to twelve cups per hour isn’t unusual .
• Drink 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup (125 to 200 mL) of fluid every 15 minutes .
• Drink one (250 mL) every 15 minutes during strenuous exercise or if it’s hot and humid .
Any weight change after one exercise session is an indicator of water loss, not fat loss .
• Drink two cups (500 mL) of water for every pound lost during exercise .
• Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty . Clear or light coloured urine shows you’re well hydrated.
Because water is the best hydrator of all the fluids, make sure that at least half of your daily fluid intake is water . If you don’t like the taste of water try mixing it with some juice or add lots of lemon or orange slices to a jug and pop it in the fridge to mellow . A refreshing spritzer made from cranberry juice mixed with soda water can be a delicious change . Alcohol, coffee, tea and drinks with caffeine don’t hydrate you well because they push water out of your body.