The Importance of Water
with Matt April
a Bent On Better session
In this week’s session of the Bent On Better podcast, where better means becoming the best you in health, fitness, and overall wellness, my guest is…me. In this episode I discuss the importance of water, the effects of dehydration, and some tips for fluid replacement for athletes.
As the summer days come to an end here in the States, we cannot forget the importance of water. Late is a vital part of our lives. Water makes up 60% of the human body by weight, that’s more than half of you! Did you know that we can only survive a few days without water? Whereas deficiencies of nutrients such as the basic macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats), vitamins, and minerals may take weeks, months, or even years to develop, we cannot survive without water.
Some take-away points we discuss in this episode:
1. The importance of water and its benefits
The endocrine gland function improves with proper hydration.
Fluid retention is alleviated.
Liver functions improve, increasing the percentage of fat used for energy.
Natural thirst returns.
Metabolic functions improve.
Nutrients are distributed throughout the body.
Blood volume is maintained.
2. Guidelines for fluid replacement for athletes
Consume 14-22 ounces (1.75-2.75 cups) of fluid 2 hours before exercise.
Drink 6-12 ounces of fluid for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.
Fluids should be cold because of more rapid gastric emptying.
If exercise exceeds 60 minutes, use of a sports drink (containing up to 8% carbohydrate) can replace both fluid and dwindling muscle glycogen stores.
When exercising for less than 60 minutes, water is the experts’ choice of fluid replacement
The goal is to replace sweat and urine losses.
Ingest 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after an exercise bout, especially if rapid rehydration is necessary, as in twice-a-day training.
3. Sedentary Men and Women Water Consumption
Sedentary men and women should consume on average 3 L (approximately 13 cups) and 2.2 L (approximately 9 cups) of water per day, respectively. Those on a fat-loss plan should consume an additional 8 ounces of water for every 25 pounds carried above ideal weight.
The easiest way to think about how much water you should be drinking is with this simple formula:
HALF YOUR BODY WEIGHT IN OUNCES = The amount of water you should be consuming in a 24-hour period
You’re a healthy person, and I know you value your health (keep reading my blog). But here’s the thing, I have to remind you that these tips are provided for your information and are not intended as medical advice. Please work with your health care professional to determine what’s right for you. Just remember, eating right (and staying hydrated) starts with you.
*these statements are not meant as medical help. Seek professional advice if you suffer from any of the aforementioned.
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*Clark, Micheal, Brian G. Sutton, and Scott Lucett. “Chapter 17/ Section 3.” NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 490-91. Print.