Understanding the importance of water is critical to ensuring proper hydration throughout the body. Did you know that the body is 60-70% water? Did you also know that different areas of the body contain varying ratios of water? Your body needs water almost as much as it needs oxygen.
It is common knowledge today that the majority of North Americans are dehydrated. This in itself is a major problem as water plays an important role in our daily life .
Water helps the body regulating temperature, in detoxifying our body, feeding the brain, it helps in carrying nutrients and oxygen to muscles and vital organs, lubricating joints and increasing energy levels.
Lets take a look at the breakdown of water content throughout the body:
Blood contains 83% water – a decrease in water content causes the heart to pump harder plus oxygen and vital nutrients are not driven into tissues and organs adequately
Liver contains 96% water – a decrease in water content causes less efficient flushing out of environmental toxins and ingested toxins; free radicals roam
Bones are 22% water – a decrease in water content lessens the cushioning effect in joints
Brain is 75% water – a decrease in water content causes dizziness, lethargy, poor concentration,
headaches, fainting and even death
Muscle is 75% water – a decrease in water content can cause muscle fatigue and injury or cramping anywhere from one limb to the entire body.
Hydration is defined as the process of providing adequate amounts of liquid to bodily tissues. So then Dehydration is defined as excessive loss of water.
Dehydration can be caused by a number of factors, including the flu, gastroenteritis (diarrhea), intense sporting activities, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, or simply not drinking enough water or eating foods with high water content.
Symptoms of Dehydration may include headaches, muscle cramps, a sudden episode of visual whiteout, decreased blood pressure, and dizziness or fainting when standing up.
Dehydration symptoms generally become noticeable after 2% of one’s normal water volume has been lost. Initially, weâ€™ll experiences thirst and discomfort, possibly along with loss of appetite and dry skin. All this could then be followed by constipation.
Athletes could suffer a loss of performance of up to 30%, and experience flushing, low endurance, rapid heart rates, elevated body temperatures, and rapid onset of fatigue.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include thirst, decreased urine volume (except in the case of excessive consumption of alcohol), abnormally dark yellow acid looking urine, unexplained tiredness, irritability, lack of tears when crying, headache, dry mouth, and possible dizziness when standing.
So will drinking lots of water hydrate the body? Itâ€™s a good start, but water alone will do nothing to help sustain a healthy electrolyte balance or overall energy.
How about reaching for one of the leading sports drinks?
As a way to combat Dehydration, often those who are active in sports tend to use a Sport drink. These drinks are a multibillion dollar industry, with even Coke Cola getting in on the action as they know the market continues to grow.
Did you also know all these sports drinks have a high osmolality?
What is osmolality? It is the measurement of solid particles in a liquid. The average osmolality of blood is 250, and itâ€™s difficult for your body to quickly absorb a fluid with a high osmolality rating than that of blood. The leading sports drinks on the market have osmolality ratings above 250.
Hydration is a critical part of activity; in fact, the lack of proper fluids can result in fatigue and muscle cramps. Without sufficient fluid, your body is less capable of moving nutrients through your system and distributing oxygen.
Did you know that these sports drinks really only offer little more than extra calories through high sugar content and sodium? In reviewing the web-sites of a number of the more popular drinks most products contain:
60 to over 280 calories from sugar or corn suryp,
Atleast 13 grams of sugar per 20 oz bottle (over 3 tablespoons of sugar)
Little vitamins, if any, including C, B and E.
Little minerals, if any, including potassium and magnesium
Source: Gatorade, Powerade, Vitamin Water and Propel Fitness Water
These sports drinks simply provide calories from sugar and salt with very little or no vitamins and mineral content. Even the â€œvitamin watersâ€ are more like water and sugar with a few vitamins. They are really not an effective electrolyte replenishment solution.
It is best to avoid drinks high in carbohydrates as they produce an insulin spike followed with a “crash”, not to mention delayed absorption into the tissues. These insulin spikes also are one of the leading causes of weight gain.
Electrolytes not only prevent dehydration, but are critical to muscle function, nerve conduction, energy production, and heart function.
One unique product I have found that absorbs quickly to rehydrate and help balance electrolytes is called LowOz. It also replenishes your body with a balanced mixture of carbohydrates for energy and electrolytes including sodium, potassium and magnesium. This product has an osmolality rating of just 150.
LowOz is an electrolyte replenishment that is certified by the Int’l Olympic Committee. It has satisfied the criteria for intense sporting events and has been used by 20 athletes in the 2006 Winter Olympics.
This product really works fast due to it’s low osmolality and you are able to feel hydrated and energized within a few minutes of consuming it.
LowOz comes in a powder citrus flavor that you mix in water. It tastes great and you will “feel it in minutes.” Give it a try for yourself!
In tomorrows Health~Tip post I am going to stay on the topic of Dehydration, but this time I will address the cause as a result of consuming Alcohol.
Let me know what you think about this post. Leave a comment below. I want to hear from you.