I have wondered for a long time what to write about this first note. Life suggested many topics to me and I will definitely come back to all of those in time, as we should make time for all of them. Unfortunately, I have never been a master in writing briefly and succinctly on any topic I am passionate about. I will try to make sure that nobody falls asleep reading my scribbles;).
Water – It seems to me that I do not need to remind anyone of its chemical formula and the fact that it is the source of life, but I would like to remind you how important and necessary hydration is. Especially now, when many of us, including even professional athletes, forget about the proverbial “8” glasses of water a day. In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not. The importance of drinking water in the summer is undeniable. We are especially at risk for becoming dehydrated due to the way our bodies respond to hot temperatures. It is important for everyone to prevent dehydration by drinking enough water throughout the day. Everyone has different needs, but these “8” glasses of water are so average that you should remind yourself about it every single day. What made me write this article today? First of all, the researches found that the average person in the USA consumed 2 1/2 cup of water per day! And secondly my own experience working, going to the gym and a life of constant running causes me to forget to take 5 minutes for myself and my own health.
Why is it so important for our body to be well hydrated?
Have you ever wondered how much of your body is water? It is important to know that the amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%. and to look deeper the water in it’s about: 95% of blood, 80% of brain volume, 75% of muscle mass, 70% of the body weight of the active athlete (about 40% in the case of an obese person), 32% of bones, and only 10% is part of body fat. Water has tremendous medical significance for our body. First of all it participates in EVERY metabolic process in our body! In addition, in the functioning of internal organs, physical and mental condition, regulation of body temperature. Dr. Penny Wilson, a dietitian from the Houston’s Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute put it well into the words “water works like oil in a car.”
How to hydrate while physically active?
The demand for water during the day increases with increasing physical exertion. When we look at the average of several studies, a physically inactive person should drink 150-250ml (5-8oz.) of water every hour, and for amateur athletes and pro athletes these numbers range between 400-800ml (13.5-27oz).
Is only plain drinking water hydrating?
No! But plain drinking water does it extremely effectively and quickly. Of course you don’t have to drink only plain drinking water! Try it with toppings such as ginger, mint, cucumber, lemon, honey or as a white, green tea or various herbal teas, and fresh juices. It is worth remembering that water is also provided with food in the form of vegetables, fruits, milk and its products or soups.
Coffee is the most controversial topic in this matter. Scientists argue whether the fact that caffeine has a diuretic effect, and whether to classify coffee and energy drinks as hydrating substances or not. Theories are many. If coffee has a strong diuretic effect on you, don’t forget about a glass of water after drinking it.
This portal is for physically active people, so it is worth to mention about sports drinks. Water will be a very good way of hydrating the body for a light jogging on a nice day. However, any other training (e.g. strength, interval, sprinting) will require delivery of sodium with your diet and drink. As you probably know, salt retains water in the body, which is why water enriched with electrolytes or isotonic drinks will be a very good solution here. My favorite isotonic drink? Prepared at home: water + lemon + honey + ginger + salt :)!
Have you ever wondered how much water you really drink in a day?
Every time I start working as a dietitian with someone, I ask my client to write down diet for at least a week, including liquids. Such a note helps me and the patient to see errors or deficiencies. Try it! For several days write ‘’diet diary’’ including what, and how much you eat and drink and at what time, and then the answers will standout :)!
Do not allow dehydration!
The first symptoms of dehydration appear already with 2-3% water deficiency. These include: concentration/focus problems, reduced physical performance, extended response time, headaches, tiredness and fatigue, weakness of appetite, disruption of processes conditioning the maintenance of normal body temperature. Over time, muscle cramps and redness of the skin occur. The consequences of significant dehydration are e.g. hallucinations, loss of consciousness, risk of developing urinary tract infection, bladder and colon cancer. It is better not to write about extreme cases.
And finally a few golden thoughts 😉