A key to making sure we can handle work and play when it’s hot outside is to make sure we maintain our water intake. The human body is a water machine. Like a race car that runs on high octane fuel, our human machine runs primarily on water and minerals. Every process that happens inside our body, happens with water.
In the past few years, more and more research is being done on the body’s healing process and how much that ability depends on water. The human body is made up of more than 70 percent water. Blood is more than 80 percent‚ the brain is over 75 percent‚ and the human liver is an amazing 96 percent water! As we can see, water is the key to daily living and high levels of performance.
Our energy level, training level and performance level are greatly affected by the amount of water we drink, or can retain in our system. It has been proven (with those guys in white coats) that just a 5 percent drop in body fluids will cause a 25 to 30 percent loss of energy in the average person. A 15 percent drop in body fluids can cause death! Water is what our liver uses to metabolize fat into useable energy.
I had a training client once that lost over 12 pounds during our eight weeks of training sessions and all she did to change her routine was exercise and GET IN PROPER HYDRATION. It is estimated that over 80 percent of our population suffers energy loss due to minor dehydration. Many times this is because we think that as long as we are getting “fluids,” that’s as good as getting water into the system. When we look at water consumption, we don’t include sodas, tea, energy drinks, coffee or other drinks (many of these drinks can actually lead to dehydration).
A simple way to remember and to calculate how much water to drink is to take your body weight, half that, and that is the number of ounces of water you should drink a day! A 200-pound person should drink 100 ounces of water. That is without activity.
How can a person drink that much water? If you break it down over the day, it’s really not that bad. Think about a 16-ounce bottle of water. To get 100 ounces, you would drink a little over six bottles of water a day. If we got two in the morning, two in the afternoon and two in the evening, we would be good to go. I know some of my clients drink two to three bottles during a training session.
Another good way to tell if you’re getting enough water is the color of your urine. We tell our athletes and clients we train that their urine should be clear. The darker your urine gets, the more water you need to add into your day.
Last key note. IF YOU START FEELING THIRSTY, you’re already dehydrated and performance levels may start to decrease. SO DRINK UP, before, during and after activity!