Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Importance of Hydration

Water is the most important nutrient for life and has many important functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients and waste throughout the body. The water content in the foods you eat and the beverages you drink combine to hydrate your body. Without proper hydration, you become dehydrated, which means your body does not have enough water to function normally. I normally try to drink still water or tea at least 2,0-2,5 liters (65-80 oz) on a off-training day / 3,0 - 3,5 liters (100-120 oz) on a training day.

Why is it so important to stay hydrated? 
Your body depends on water for survival. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health.

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How dows my body loose water?
You loose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You loose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you exercise, or if you have a fever. Vomiting and diarrhea can also lean to rapid fluid loss. If you don´t replace the water you loose, you can become dehydrated. If you stay dehydrated, you´ll damage your kidney and increase the potential for developing kidney stones.

How do I know if I´m dehydrated?
Symptoms of dehydration include:
  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thrist
  • Headache
  • Confusion 
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Don´t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to act. It can be hard to recognize when you´re dehydrated. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water - also very necessary when you eat low-carb-high-protein, because by starting this kind of nutrition you´ll "wash out" all the waste which has been in your body for ages.

A large amount of light colored, diluted urine probably means you are hydrated; dark colored, concentrated urine probably means you are dehydrated.

Athletic Performance
Staying hydrated is particularly important during exercise. When you do not consume enough liquid or fresh fruits and vegetables to stay properly hydrated, you end up thirsty and light headed. Insufficient hydration fatigues your muscles, reduces your coordination and causes muscle cramps. While working out or playing sports, dehydration compromises the body´s ability to cool itself through sweating. This leads to head exhaustion and in extreme cases a potentially life-threatening condition called heat stroke.
So therefore: The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right kind of fluids.

What kind of fluid should I drink? Water vs. Diet Soda?
Drink water. We know tea, green and white tea and coffee are good for you. While diet sodas do have about the same calories as water, I don´t feel that we have enough information to say that they are as good for you as water. (also, e.g., diet coke is in conflict to clean, unprocessed drinking.)

Artificial sweeteners actually stimulate appetite by tricking the body into increasing insulin secretion.  The taste receptores in the stomach may play a role in regulating endocrine function. These receptors may be processing the taste of sweet (but calorie-free) diet beverage, and that may be affecting the production of insulin. This means diet beverage should not necessarily be considered 'neutral' because they may have a metabolic effect. The clinical research in this sector is early and there is still a lot to uncover about how artificial sweeteners affect the body.

The most of the people understand that the symptomes of thrist are misinterpreted as hunger!! 
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Stay healthy and hydrated!

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