Staying hydrated, staying alive!

/ July 20, 2014/ Holistic Nutrition/ 2 comments

When is warm outside, we all want to be out there biking, running, skating, or playing golf. The more active you are, the more you need to stay hydrated!

Made of water

Water is the main component of all the body fluids like blood,lymph, digestive juices, urine, sweat, and tears…

Water is the solvent in our bodies. Therefore, it regulates all functions.

Water also protects the brain and spinal cord by acting as cushion in case of impact injuries.

Our blood is about 93% water! and when you think that blood is what carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removes metabolic waste from the cells then you realize the importance of staying hydrated.

Water loses

We loose almost 2 liters of water everyday. We loose water through urine (50%), skin (25%), and lungs (19%). On top of that, every cup of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks displaces 2 cups (8oz) of water in the body!

When you exercise, you can loose 1 or 2 liters of water per hour. A well-trained athlete can loose 3 liters or more per hour.

Do you still think that drinking 8 to 12 cups a water a day is too much?

Drying up…

We suffer dehydration because we loose more water than we consume. Without enough water, our bodies enter in water rationing mode and prioritizes which body systems receive water.

For athletes, dehydration results in negative performance outcomes and reduced mental function! Dehydration is also associated with higher muscle soreness.

Medical research has linked dehydration to a long list of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, back pain, cataracts, depression, heartburn, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney stones, and migraines.

Needless to say, replenishing lost water is essential to health!

Hopefully, these reasons are compelling enough to pay attention to your water intake and enourage you to drink more water.

How do you know if you are dehydrated?

A well-hydrated person produces colorless urine. A dehydrated person produces yellow or orange urine assuming you are not taking any vitamins or food additives that change the color of urine.

These are common symptoms of dehydration:

  • Dry mouth
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Confusion
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output

How much water do you need to drink?

Water requirements are different for every person. The climate, activity level, body size, and diet influence your needs for water.

A general recommendation is 8 to 12 cups of just water. A total of 3 quarts if you include all fluids and food.

The best times to drink water are upon rising and one hour before meals. During meals just one glass. After meals, wait two hours or until you finish digestion to avoid diluting digestive juices and reduce nutrient absorption.

I never felt thirsty but once I started drinking more water I started to feel thirsty! It turns out that we tend to loose this ability and confuse it with hunger. Next time you think you are hungry, you might want to try drinking a glass of water first…


Home-made sport drink

Coconuts

Dan Benardot recommends to drink during exercise a beverage that provides 14 g of carbohydrates per cup (6% solution) with a sodium concentration between 100 to 200 milligrams per cup.

Try the following tasty recipe that follows these recommendations:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 2 tsp of maple syrup
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup water

Preparation

  • Juice the lime and add to a water bottle.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, close with cover, and shake.
  • Drink and enjoy!
  • You can prepare in advance and keep refrigerated.

I used to drink Gatorade Perform® Lemon-Lime Thirst Quencher when I played golf. This recipe not only works great at keeping you hydrated, it provides 18 times more potassium and almost twice more sodium along with a magnesium, calcium, and manganese than this popular sport drink. Which one would you rather drink?

Amount

Energy (kcal)

Protein (g)

Carbs (g)

Fat(g)

K (mg)

Na (mg)

Home-made sport drink

240 ml

70.50

1.30

15.66

0.36

480.00

190.33

Gatorade Perform Lemon-Lime Thirst Quencher

240 ml

60.91

0.00

15.43

0.00

26.40

101.52

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the recipe…is there a substitute for the maple syrup? honey?

    1. Umm, I would have to make the calculations. Honey is higher in carbs and some people have allergies due to the pollen. I would recommend only raw unpasteurized honey. It would probably be 1 tsp and a half.
      If you can find good dark maple syrup, I like it better because of the mineral content.

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