Did you know this about Water?
We see it every day- it surrounds us and is within us, BUT have you really considered the Importance of Water? We are always told to “Drink more water!”, but ever wonder WHY?
Did you know that water covers 71% of the Earth’s surface and that it is vital for all known forms of life? Water accounts for 60 percent of our body—or about 11 gallons or 92 pounds inside a 155-pound person—and is essential to every cell. We use water to cool our body with sweat, to circulate oxygen and fuel to our organs and take away waste products via blood. While it is possible to live for several weeks or even months without food, our bodies can feel the effects of water deprivation within as little as 30 minutes. Delve deeper and you will learn how does it impact your muscles, heart—and brain function!
The brain is the center of the nervous system and it is the most complex organ of its body. In a typical human the cerebral cortex (the largest part) is estimated to contain 15–33 billion neurons which are microscopic cells. Each neuron has tiny branches coming off it that let it connect to many other neurons. Did you know that when you were born, your brain came with all the neurons it will ever have, but many of them were not connected to each other. When you learn things, the messages travel from one neuron to another, over and over. Eventually, the brain starts to create connections (or pathways) between the neurons, so things become easier and you can do them better and better.
Staying hydrated keeps your memory sharp, your mood stable and your motivation intact. When you’re well-hydrated, you can also think through a problem more easily. Researchers hypothesize that not having enough water could reduce oxygen flow to the brain or temporarily shrink neurons—or being thirsty could simply distract you.
The heart sends blood around your body. The blood provides your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs. It also carries away waste. Your heart is sort of like a pump, or two pumps in one. The right side of your heart receives blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs. The left side of the heart does the exact opposite: It receives blood from the lungs and pumps it out to the body. Dehydration lowers your blood volume, so your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs—as well as exercise—more difficult
Your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skin’s surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, however, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter. Excessive body temperature can cause nausea, dizziness, cramps (heat exhaustion)and heat stroke which can be fatal.
The kidneys are essential in the urinary system and also serve homeostatic functions such as the regulation of electrolytes, maintenance of acid–base balance, and regulation of blood pressure (via maintaining salt and water balance). They serve the body as a natural filter of the blood, remove wastes, and they are also responsible for the reabsorption of water, glucose, and amino acids. The kidneys also produce hormones including calcitriol, erythropoietin, and the enzyme renin. Keeping hydrated may also help prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones. If you are severely dehydrated, your kidneys may stop working, causing toxins to build up in your body
Exercise & Water
Several studies have reported that being dehydrated, especially when it’s hot, reduces the amount of aerobic exercise you can do: people who were just slightly dehydrated were typically only able to run, for example, about 75 percent as hard as usual. During heavy exercise, water losses up to 4 lb/hour are possible. Did you know that fluid replacement enhances performance? When you’re well hydrated, the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently so you perform better. Water is also important for lubricating joints.
Tips for preventing dehydration:
- Drink 7ml/kg (~1 oz/10lb) water or sports drink about 2 hours before exercise
- For more for profuse sweaters: weigh pre- and post- training session –recommended for runners.
- Then drink 1-2 cups a few minutes prior to exercise
- Cold beverages are absorbed more quickly
- Don’t rely on thirst alone (mechanism blunted during ex)
- Drink early and regularly- I always have my 32 oz water bottle. For long or intense workouts I often add some results and recovery formula.
- Drink 1 – 1.5 cups fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during endurance activity
Conclusion: Water Up!