Basic but important!
We know that a lot of you will begin reading this chapter and find yourself saying “I already knew that” or “Obviously!” but hang with us and we’ll explain the importance of water to you.
Basics are important, they’re the core of everything we do but when something is so simple that we do it almost without thinking, how often do you think we forget to complete it…..I mean, if we’re not thinking about it, what's going to trigger the action? Going back to our days as a Professional athlete there were a number of things that we took for granted, we were constantly reminded of the basic requirements that took little effort but played a BIG part in our success but now we’re coaching, we’re finding ourselves repeating the basics over and over to clients that have the ability but have placed their focus in other areas that they believe to be more important. Do you see where we’re going with this? No? Water is the basic but important part of our health that we quite often forget about, because it’s SO SIMPLE!
Now we’re guessing you’ve heard that you require 2L per day which is the equivalent of 8 cups? Well it’s actually 3L but this is just an average and it most certainly doesn’t take into account the weather conditions or physical activity.
Water makes up over half of our combined body weight, 55-60% in fact! Water is soaked up by our cells and is know as intracellular fluid and the water on the outside of our cells is known as extracellular fluid, approximately 2/3 of the water is intracellular.
The different cells within the body contain different amounts of water such as:
Bone: 20% Fat Tissue: 25% Muscle and Brain Tissue: 75% Blood: 83% Eyes: 95%
So before moving any further, you can see just how important water is to the functionality of the human body.
So how much do we need and how do we know if we’re hydrated?
Well this all depends on the individual. As you may remember when we discussed the “Perfect Diet” we’re all different, eat differently, sweat differently and burn energy differently not to mention we don’t all weigh the same. So let's take a look at some contributing factors when it comes to thirst.
You’ll feel thirstier when:
It’s warmer You’ve consumed salt You've had alcohol You’ve been sweating
You won’t feel as thirsty when:
It’s cooler You haven’t sweated as much
This means that on a warm day you may want to consider drinking a little more due to the fluid loss caused due to sweating, exercise is another reason to drink a little more as well but how do we know our body needs it? Ever been to the toilet and noticed that your urine is a little darker than usual? This is a sign that you need to replenish your fluids….water guys, just water for now! However if you’d like to calculate the amount that YOU require, here’s a simple equation to give you a rough estimate:
For Every Kilogram You Weigh, Ingest 30-40mL Of Water = If you weigh 100kg you’ll need to consume 3-4L of water per day.
How much fluid do we actually lose and where do we lose it from? As we breathe, we lose approximately 3mL per minute of fluid and another 0.4-0.5mL of water per kilogram of bodyweight per hour just through the skin!
A person weighing 70kg (ME) will lose 650-850mL every 24hrs.
Sweating alone is a huge factor in water loss! We’ve posted online that every hour of exercise can lead to 2L of sweat and if you think that’s a lot (we think it is) then you’ll be flabbergasted to find out that an athlete preparing for the 1984 Olympics was tested for fluid loss and recorded a staggering 3.7L per hour!!! This is a record for sweat loss during exercise!
It’s believed that scientists have recorded 5L of fluid loss in 1hr without any exercise in a hot environment! It’s believed that the blood goes straight to the skin rather than working the muscles and this is the reason that water is evaporated at a quicker rate.
Don’t forget thinks like your poop, urine and when you’re not feeling the best, vomit. These all play a part in the loss of water and require you to top up asap.
So what would happen to me if I became dehydrated and how bad would it need to be before I start feeling the effects?
0.5% = Increased Strain on the Heart 1% = Reduced Aerobic Endurance 3% = Reduced Muscular Endurance 4% = Reduced Muscle Strength, Reduced Motor Skills and Heat Cramps 5% = Heat Exhaustion, Cramping, Fatigue and a Reduced Mental Capacity 6% = Physical Exhaustion, Heat Stroke, Coma 10% = Death!!
So as you can see it doesn’t take long for poor hydration to catch up to you and the effects can be fatal. We’ll take a further look into Water in a later chapter but this should give you all the information you need to get started. So grab a glass or a bottle, make sure to keep it next to you wherever you go and sip at it when you start to feel thirsty.
Hope you enjoyed the read.
Justin Beard Pn1