Body Conquest Articles | Water
WaterWater is absolutely essential for life. While we can go for long lengths of time without food we would not survive long without water. If you don't drink enough of it some functions of your body will suffer. If you feel a little off, or you aren't training well, you might not even be sick, you are probably just thirsty! Everyone, even medical practitioners preach about water intake. Chances are, you are dehydrated right now, as you read. So, put down that cappuccino and ask yourself.....are you really drinking enough water?
The body is 50%-75% water, depending on age and body fat. A loss of only 3%-4% of body water adversely affects aerobic performance. Larger losses can lead to death. Under normal conditions without exercise, water loss equals about 2,500 ml/day, with most lost in urine. However as environmental temperatures and heavy exercise is added, the water loss increases dramatically to 6-7 litres a day.
Under normal conditions the 2500ml of water per day is replaced with beverages (1500ml), solid food (750) and the water derived from metabolic processes (250ml). Most people are surprised at the large volume of water contributed by solid food until they consider the following percentages of water in "solid" food: baked potato 75%, canned peas 77%, and lettuce-96%. A general recommendation under normal circumstances is to consume about 2 litres of water. However to avoid potential
problems related to dehydration, one should drink water before and during exercise.
BENEFITS OF WATERYour body has somewhere in the vicinity of three trillion cells. Each and every one of them contains water. So what is that telling us? I think it's fair to say that is a poignant indicator that water is essential and the most important nutrient for each and every one of us. Drinking lots of water daily helps with hydration and eliminating toxins. But its importance goes well beyond that. Water helps to maintain good muscle tone....which in turn, aids proper muscle contraction and prevents dehydration and performance in the gym from suffering. It also helps to prevent sagging skin that usually follows fat loss. Shrinking cells are buoyed by water which plums the skin and leaves it clear, healthy and resilient. Water helps you look good. By flushing out the toxins and impurities, water can make your skin younger and smoother looking. As an added bonus it can also help you to control hunger.
Water helps regulate and maintain body temperature. Water transports nutrients and oxygen and removes waste products and toxins. It moistens and lubricates your mouth, eyes, nose, hair, skin, joints and digestive tract. If your body doesn't get enough water you risk dehydration, elevated body temperature, fatigue, decreased mental and physical performance, and heart-related illness.
As little as a 1% loss of water can translate to an increase in core temperature during exercise. A 3-5% loss of water can put a strain on the cardiovascular system and further impair the ability of the body to dissipate heat. When the body loses 7% of its water, the result will most likely be collapse. Let me ask you another question. How clever do you think your body is? I think the body is a very crafty machine that is designed to outsmart us. Therefore we sometimes have to resort to outright trickery to force it to do some things that we want it too do. So if it is smart then we know that it can tell the difference between say coffee or pure, fresh water. Your body doesn't interpret black coffee as a teaspoon of coffee and a cup of hot water. It interprets it exactly as what it is-coffee! I am not suggesting you need to give up other drinks, but what I am saying is that you can't include the coffee as part of your water count. Not kosher! Pure water is put to good use and is quickly absorbed. A solution on the other hand sits in the digestive tract and is slowly assimilated as the solute, then it is digested. The process of digesting the solute often requires more water than what is gained from the solvent.
WATER'S RELATIONSHIP WITH FAT LOSS:I have long maintained that water is imperative to efficient fat loss. Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolise stored fat. The kidneys cannot function properly without enough water. When they do not work to capacity, some of their load is dumped on the liver. One of the liver's primary functions is to metabolise stored fat into useable energy for the body. But if the liver has done some of the kidney's work, it cannot work with maximum effectiveness. What's the result? Hmmm you guessed! Your body metabolises less fat....more fat remains stored in the body and fat loss stops! Water also acts as a transporter. It helps take certain nutrients to their appropriate cells. What is the point in feeding your muscles with good, clean food if all your nutrients are not being transported to the right cells?
WATER VERSUS OTHER DRINKS:Let's have a comparison of what's in other common drinks:
DRINK CALORIES SUGAR
Bottled Water 0 0
Sweetened Coffee 45 2
Coke 160 10
Lemonade 140 9
Fruit Punch 180 11
Going by this chart then, if you have one can of coke per day every day and decide to replace it with water instead, over a year you will save yourself 58,400 calories and 3,650 teaspoons of sugar. That's a lot of stored body fat if you ask me, to say nothing of the dental implications.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK?:The amount a person needs to drink varies depending on his or her weight and activity level. To determine how much water you should drink is to divide your weight in kilograms by 30. The resulting number is the number of litres you need each day at rest on a normal day. For example somebody weighing 70 kg is going to need 2.3 litres per day. Measure and record your daily intake. Do this for a few days. If you find that you are drinking less than the recommended amount try some of the following tips. If you exercise then you need to account for that and increase your daily intake. Another way you can tell if you are consuming enough water is by checking the colour of your urine. First thing in the morning it may be yellow, but by lunch time you should be urinating almost a clear coloured urine. This is an indication that you are well hydrated.
TIPS TO HELP YOU DRINK MORE:Carry around a 1 litre bottle or other container. Before long, you'll find yourself reaching for it without a seconds thought. It will become a new habit. Make sure you do at least one re-fill per day.
Keep a glass of water at your desk if you are sitting for long periods of time. Drink from it regularly if you are working.
Use your phone as a little reminder system. Make it beep on every hour to remind you to take a drink on the hour, every waking hour.
As soon as you get up and when you are ready to go to bed, have a drink. You will learn to navigate your way to the bathroom with your eyes closed soon enough!
Add lemon, lime or mint leaves to your water. It makes it taste better and makes you want to drink more of it. Be careful not to make it too sour, just a splash of sourness should be enough. This is also much cheaper than buying bottled, flavoured water.
Whilst in your car, driving, if you live in the city you can take a sip at every third or fourth set of traffic lights. (you may also find yourself becoming acquainted with various petrol stations too)!
You should find it a piece of cake (or a baked sweet potato in your case) to drink at least 1 litre during your workout.
Get a water purification system. Purified water tastes really good and may help drinking water more appealing for you.
Everytime you walk past a fountain or drinking tap, take a sip.
If you are really serious, vow to drink only water for a month. Once you become accustomed to it, it will be hard not to drink enough water. Also, by the end of the month you should find that water tastes great.
If you don't like the taste of water try hot water. It's a different taste and it feels good on your throat. If you really, really despise the taste drink it through a straw, you won't taste the water so much, because it will skip part of your tongue.
Instead of regular soft drink, opt for diet instead; it contains less calories and sugar.
WARNINGS:You shouldn't drink too much water whilst eating as it dilutes your stomach acid and can cause digestive problems.
If you live in a dry. Hot climate, allow for extra water in your daily intake.
People with some heart conditions, high blood pressure or swelling of the lower legs (oedema) need to avoid excess water. If you have a history of kidney problems, especially if you have had a transplant, consult your doctor before increasing your uptake.
Dehydration can make daily activities exhausting. Dehydration essentially robs your brain, organs and bones of nutrients and oxygen that are critical for daily performance. If you want optimal workouts with the iron you need to drink frequently.
Hypernatremia is the condition of drinking an extremely large amount of water in a relatively short period of time. The amounts needed to induce hypernatremia are beyond what most people can tolerate, but large spikes of water in the body are still undesirable. Sip water throughout the day.
Do your body and your training performance a favour and ensure that you are drinking plenty of fresh water all day, every day. Don't discount this important ingredient in your mass building, fat shredding program. Water will help build your muscle mass via transportation of nutrients to appropriate cells and help to facilitate fat loss. We are fast approaching warmer weather which should make this even easier than ever to achieve.
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