Figured "Hey, I should blog about it!"
- Blood is 83% water
- Muscles are 75% water
- The brain is 95% water
- Lungs are 90% water
Protoplasm, the basic material of living cells, is made of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts, and similar elements combined with water. Water acts as a solvent, transporting, combining, and chemically breaking down these substances. A cell exchanges elements with the rest of the body by electrolysis, and in a normal case, minerals and micro elements pass through the cell membrane to the nucleus by electro-osmosis. The body needs electrolytes (minerals like: sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate) for its basic functions, water is the delivery element.
The extended message is that if we drink enough water to keep good stuff floating in our cells and bad stuff passing through (& floating out of) our cells, it will keep our cells (and concurrently, US) alive.
Ergo, drinking water is BENEFICIAL to our health, oui? Good. Moving on.
Keep in mind that you WILL get "water" from Fruits, Vegetables & "other" drinks, but for true HYDRATION purposes PLAIN water is best. WHY? Because I said SO! No... it's really because everything ELSE in those alternative fluid sources, ALSO USE WATER to be broken down, digested & expelled from the body, and are not absorbed INTO the cells.
*I'm not going to go into Alkaline water in this article, but you can check out THIS WEBSITE for some info on its benefits.
Some Basic Guidelines ::
1. Drink water FIRST
First thing in the morning : drinking 16-32oz of cool to cold water, before any other intake, has been shown to increase daily energy, and to rehydrate the cells from the sleep-cycle fasting.
First, before eating : Before every meal & snack try to drink 8-12oz of cool water. This will signal some fullness in the stomach, preventing over eating & also lubricates the glottal region for more efficient digestion.
First, before alcohol : Out at the club & ready for those DRANK? Have some water. Again, it will prevent you from imbibing too many extra calories & will also help temper out the liquor about to lay havok on your cells!
2. Daily Recommended Intake
The old adage of "drink 8 glasses (8-12oz) of water per day" is a pretty good guideline, when considering the average sedentary person. However, it doesn't take note of size differences (*Someone 300lbs would need ermarkably more water than someone 100lbs); climate-induced water losses (*Caribbean-living persons sweat 4-7x more fluid loss than the average North American, monthly); nor make mention of active people's additional hydration requirements (*Marathon runners vs "office guy").
Basic math for DI :: 1/2 Body weight (measured in pounds) to be consumed, in fluid ounces, + 8-12oz per 15mins of vigorous exercise, daily.
e.g. You're 160lbs. Half that is 80 fl.oz of water to consumed, for the day if you are sedentary & add on (avg) 40oz for a 60min gym session. 80/8 (*8oz = 1cup/250mL) + 40/8 = 15cups (*Just shy of 4L, or 1Gallon) of water per day.
For a more accurate (*intensive-training specific) water-intake calculation, go HERE
Benefits - Life/Health
- Prevent Pain - Did you know that when you have a headache, back pain, muscle spasm, stomachache, or when you feel depressed without obvious reason, you actually need to drink water? These are ALL signs of primary pre-dehydration!
- Prevent Illness - Experts have also shown that proper water intake will regulate salts, cholesterol and may reduce your risk of Heart Attack by keeping blood plasma at healthy viscosity levels & by flushing out unnecessary toxins and foreign particles, helps to prevent Disease/Infection. Proper fluid intake (*along with rest and vitamins) are always prescribed as the primary remedy to help you get well.
- Lose Weight - All chemical reactions in the body depend upon WATER. If you’re trying to lose weight, you need water to flush out the by-products of fat breakdown. Proper water intake allows you to relieve yourself of any stored water, as well as helping you "stay regular". A lot of additional weight is simply salt & water retention, and excess *crap* (literally) sticking to your insides.
- Prevent OverEating - Studies have shown that 60% of your "unexplained" hunger pangs, are actually Thirst-pangs. Your body is trying to get you to drink water. Craving salty/fatty foods, will elicit a more obvious thirst response & cause you to intake fluids. (Sadly, when you're prone to eating junk, you drink junk-fluids, not water, but I digress...)
- Healthy Skin - What the #1 secret to getting Healthy Skin? Moisturize... AND STAY HYDRATED What?! Put water outside AND inside your skin? GENIUS!!
- Regulate Your Body Temperature - We perspire, in high weather temperatures; during workouts, in order to dissipate the excess heat our body produces. To maintain the fluid levels in our body necessary to keep sweating, we must drink water!
- Burn More Fat And Build More Muscle - Water regulates your Metabolism as the carrier of oxygen, nutrients, hormones, etc. to body parts & providing the medium for removal of toxins, dead cells, & waste material. The proteins and enzymes involved in almost all fundamental processes in the body also require water for their proper functioning.
- Cushion And Lube Your Joints And Muscles - Water is the main component of synovial fluid, found in the bursa (closed sacs of liquid) in the connective tissue between the muscles, the tendons, the ligaments, and the bones (i.e. joints)
- Breathing - Recall, the lungs are 90% water. Water distributes oxygen all over the human body (*via osmosis & blood flow) while collecting the carbon dioxide from all these parts, by dissolving these exchanged gases.
- Get Energized And Be Alert - As the brain is mostly made up of water so drinking more water helps the brain to circulate fresh-oxygenated blood through the body making our body physically and mentally alert and healthy; definitely necessary when lifting heavy ish, or trying not to fell off cardio machines!
Doctors are well aware that dehydration, second only to oxygen deprivation, is the fastest culprit of cell-death. Minor dehydration - not enough to kill - is both the result and the hidden cause of many illnesses. Inversely, good Hydration is key to good Health.
Some Dangers of dehydration ::
People who do not drink enough water or deplete water reserves through overstimulation for a period of time gradually lower the ratio of water volume, inside cells to outside cells.Under dehydrated conditions, the cells may lose over a QUARTER of their water volume.
Whenever there is cellular dehydration, metabolic waste products are retained, causing symptoms that resemble disease but are signs of disturbed water metabolism. Since more and more water begins to accumulate outside the cells, the dehydration may not be apparent as they are more likely to notice water retention & bloating. The hidden danger of this is, eventually the Kidneys begin to store/hold excess water, limiting how often you urinate, and retain WASTE MATERIALS, as well (*this can lead to kidney stones, and Uric toxicity, causing diseases, such as Gout).
In extreme cases, Even the enzymes and proteins living in the dehydrated cells become so inefficient that they are no longer able to recognize the dehydrated state of the body.Some basic Noteables
Avoid counting tea, coffee, sodas and juices in your fluid intake. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which has a diuretic effect and makes you lose water. Sodas and juices are too sweet. Since the body must dilute them, they cause further dehydration
Ok NOW... GET TO SIPPING!!
ps - I didn't mention it, and I'm not going to go in depth into the differences between Drying out for Competition vs "everyday Dehydration", but essentially it's an extremely focused process, that involves FLOODING the body with water, and then slowly limiting the water-intake while maintaining the electrolyte levels. Through this process, you have the body remove excess water for a taught/ dry look, for competition day, without becoming toxically dehydrated.