Nothing beats that first glass of cold water in the morning (well, maybe coffee), or a dip in the ocean. Water is what rehydrates us after exercise, after a couple of glasses of wine and on a hot summers day. We all know that we should drink more water and apart from the obvious rehydration, the question is WHAT is so special about water? Amy McKendrick our Nutritionist shares her expertise:
Well, water makes up more than two thirds of the weight of the human body, and without it, humans would die in a few days. The human brain is made up of 95% water, blood is made up of 82% water and lungs 90% water. A mere 2% drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration, fuzzy short-term memory and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue.
Water is important to the mechanics of the human body. The body cannot work without it, just as a car cannot run without gas and oil. In fact, all the cell and organ functions made up in our entire anatomy and physiology depend on water for their functioning.
- Water serves as a lubricant
- Water forms the base for saliva
- Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.
- Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.
- Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent.
- Regulates metabolism….and if your goal is to lose fat, then drink up!!!
It is critical to know how much water you lose during a work-out, training or competition. And, it is critical to replace that amount during exercise. Healthy means hydrated, and is the only way to protect your body during an intense work-out.
There are three important rules when it comes to drinking water:
- Drink twice as much as it takes to quench your thirst.
- Drink frequently throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
- Drink at least eight 250ml glasses daily, or 30ml for every 1kg of body weight. For example, a 60kg person needs 1.8 litres minimum per day.
A trick to ensure people are drinking their daily allowance is to fill up a bottle with the recommended amount of water and keep it on your desk at work or handy at home. And finally, those frequent bathroom trips are not a bad thing. The best indicator that you are drinking enough water is when urine comes out pale yellow to clear. A dark yellow colour is a sign your body is dehydrated and is concentrating the urine in an effort to conserve water.