Stay Hydrated- Stay Healthy
Do we drink enough water? This is the question that we often tend to forget while discussing fitness and nutrition. Truth be told, water is one of the most crucial elements in staying healthy and maintaining the normal function of the different systems in our body like heart, brain and muscles.
“If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and an American Heart Association volunteer.
Our body is made up of roughly 60% water. Water is responsible for the transportation of important nutrients to organs and cells, helps to carry toxins away, acts as a lubricant in the bones and joints and helps to regulate the body temperature. Decreased amount of fluid in the body, even if by 2%, could impact your physical and mental performance!
How much water should one intake?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 3.7 liters/day for adult men and 2.7 liters/day for adult women. This amount might vary according to the level of physical activity done, breastfeeding, weather changes, perspiration and having any medical condition. One of the good indicators of watching the water level is paying attention to the color of the urine- pale and clear means well hydrated and dark means drink more fluids. People who exercise should check the amount of weight before and after the workout. For every pound of sweat lost, replenish with one pint of water.
Means of Hydration:
80% of the fluid intake should come from water, milk and tea. The remaining 20% of water intake could come from water-rich fruits, veggies and yogurt.
Foods high in Water Content
Fluid Depleters: Alcohol, warmer climates, fever, vomiting/diarrhea and some medical conditions can result in more fluid losses. Not able to replenish fluids after exercise can also lead to dehydration. There is still some debate going on for coffee being considered as a water-depleter or not.
Signs of Dehydration:
Exercise and Hydration:
Keep hydrating throughout the day.
Before exercise- 15-20 mins before have ½ to 1 cup of water.
During exercise- 1/2 cup fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise.
Post exercise - Drink 2 cups of water for every pound of body weight lost
Sports Drinks- Add this or electrolyte supplement during and after exercise if you’re a particularly heavy sweater or work out for more than 45 minutes at a higher intensity.