Drink more water! We hear this all the time and most of us are guilty of not drinking enough of it. Why is drinking water so important? This article will serve as an introduction into the importance of water.
Water has many important jobs inside of the body…
1.Transporting of biochemical substances
2.Dissolving of biochemical substances
3. Initiates various chemical reactions
4.Regulates body temperature
5.Provides cells with vitamins, minerals and nutrients
6.Provides lubrication to body tissues
The amount of water in humans varies based on age and sex. Females hold about 45%-50% of their body weight in water while males hold 50%-60% of their body weight in water. The ultimate physiological objective of our bodies is to maintain a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the tendency of the body to seek and maintain a condition of balance or equilibrium within its internal environment, even when faced with external changes. A classic an example of this is our ability to maintain an internal body temperature of about 98.6 despite what the temperature is outside.
Our bodies use a wide range of hormones, enzymes, nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other biological chemicals to maintain this state of homeostasis. Water provides the medium in which these chemicals are transported to the cells and the medium in which an endless list of metabolic reactions to place in. Water also provides the medium in which metabolic waste products are transported out of the cell and eventually out of the body (urine). Our cognitive, strength and endurance performance decreases greatly from just 1% dehydration.
How Much Water Do You Need?
A variety of factors need to be taken into consideration when determining how much water you need to drink. Here are some general guidelines to help
1. Most adults need to drink about 12 cups of water per day as a baseline
2. When it’s warmer outside consider adding 2 more cups of water to your baseline of 12 cups
For a more customized approach at finding your baseline water intake, use the following method.
1. Determine your body weight in pounds
2. Divide it by two
3. Drink that amount of water in ounces per day
How much water should you drink before/during exercise?
This is a bit more complicated, I’ve included an infographic to outline the protocol.
(This graphic was originally created and published by greatist.com)
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