Without a doubt, the most important part of our daily nutritional intake is….water.
Without water our performance suffers and health deteriorates very quickly to point where the body simply can’t function. 50% to 60% of the human body is made up of water and even a small reduction in water can start to make a big difference to your body, with serious consequences:
- 3% loss – reduction in exercise performance
- 4% loss – muscular work reduces by 20% to 30%
- 5% loss – heat exhaustion requiring medical attention
- 7% loss – hallucinations
- 10% loss – heat stroke and potentially death
So just why is water so important to our bodies?
- Needed for all the chemical processes in our cells
- Enables the transport of nutrients and gasses around the blood
- Provides lubrication to our joints and protection for our organs
- Maintains a consistent body temperature (especially during exercise).
Hydration levels can also be affected by sugar, salt, caffeine, food and alcohol.
So just how much should someone drink to stay healthy?
The NHS recommends drinking around 1.2 litres (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to prevent dehydration. However, when exercising, the body needs more than this. It’s easy to get into the routine of water – I have a one litre drinking bottle and know how many times a day I need to fill it up.
Without getting too personal, it’s easy enough for you to find out if you’re drinking enough water. Just take a quick look at your urine and if it’s clear to pale yellow then you are hydrated. Anything from yellow to dark yellow means that you are dehydrated and need to drink more water.
Some of my lovely clients who work-out with me in Harrold-Odell Park, have asked some interesting questions about hydration and I thought you might be interested in the answers:
I can’t seem to lose my belly fat – is that because I’m drinking too much water?
Keeping your body hydrated is absolutely essential to losing belly fat. If you are dehydrated your liver doesn’t function correctly and the ability to burn fat is not as effective. So by drinking lots of water, you will notice your belly reducing in size.
Should I drink water during exercise?
If you want to lose weight and get healthy, then exercise should be part of your programme. You should drink water before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration. Water helps the muscles, connective tissues and joints to move correctly – also helps the lungs, heart and other organs to function effectively during exercise
So there you have it, water is important for weight loss, exercise and a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t like water then there are some low sugar/zero calorie squashes out there which you can mix in – be sure to read the label first.
If you’re interested in getting fit and healthy in the great outdoors, then I’d love to see you at one of my one-hour fitness classes in Harrold-Odell Country Park. We’re a friendly bunch and meet outside the Dragonfly Café every Saturday at 09:20 for a 09:30 start. Everyone is welcome from our youngest “fitbizer” age 13 to our oldest gentleman, mid-70s.
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