Friday, March 26, 2010

Why Water?

Everyone knows drinking water is important, right? But do you know why it's important to drink, especially when you're exercising -- and when you're trying to lose weight? Probably not. Our makeup is 70-75% water, so you know it's got to be important to drink!

When you learn exactly why it's important to stay hydrated, it makes it easier to reach for the glass of water instead soda. I know it did for me!

A few facts you may not know about hydration:

*A 10% reduction of water in the body can make a person ill. A loss of 20% of water can cause death. Yikes!

*We can only survive a few days without water, and only hours in a hot environment! Our body can't store or produce water, it must get it from outside sources on a regular basis.

*A reduction of water means a concentration of blood. 5% loss of water equals 10% loss from blood! That's bad news because thicker blood is more likely to clot, less able to deliver oxygen to the brain, muscles & other tissues.

This is where it gets really interesting:

*Water is responsible for actions in energy production. If your kidneys don't have enough water, the liver is forced to to detoxify. This means that other functions the liver does are less effective -- including metabolism of food!

*Do you believe that dehydration can cause water retention? You should. When dehydrated, even a little, the body slows down the elimination of water, which results in water retention.

*Water helps with workout recovery by aiding fat based fueling of muscles. When you're dehydrated, that process is slowed down.

Starting to see how dehydration can effect workouts & weight loss? Need more? Read on...

*Water helps energy storage by being stored next to glycogen. When there's not enough water in the body, extra glucose will remain in the blood stream until reaching the liver where it's stored as FAT! This means you can actually get FATTER when you don't drink enough water!

*So, if you're dieting, you must drink plenty of water. This will help the liver effectively metabolize body fat.

If you're an active person, you must drink more than inactive people. We all know that.

*A reduction of 4-5% water may result in a drop in physical performance of 20-30%!

If you're a competitor, you know this is a HUGE deal! It's hard enough to exercise on a regular basis, but poor performance makes it even harder to continue. Don't make it hard on yourself!

The rule of thumb for drinking water when being active:

*2 hours prior to activity, drink 17-20oz
*Drink 7-10oz every 10-20 minutes
*Drink 16-24oz for every pound lost following activity

One more point -- don't rely on thirst. Start drinking before your thirsty and well after you feel quenched.

Bottom line: drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drink more when you're active or dieting. Drink even if you don't feel thirsty.

Well, the next time you go to grab a soda, think twice and instead go for a tall glass of water. Heck, why not grab one now!