Contributors & Editors: Joshua Chan, Peter Lin, Eric Chang
You’ve probably heard of a lot of this in the past two weeks from the coaching staff. “Hydrate, drink water, drink at least X amount of water, don’t gulp, sip”. The list goes on. Why has this been a theme and topic of conversation this week? Well unless you’ve been avoiding the gym like the plague you know exactly why, the heat!
Mild dehydration is also one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. Do you reach for some caffeine when you’re tired and struggling to focus? You might not actually need a caffeine boost. Instead, your sleepiness could be your body’s way of telling you that you’re dehydrated. The next time you feel daytime fatigue, try grabbing some water instead of coffee and see what happens.
Water makes up about 60% of the human adult’s composition. That is more than HALF of who you are! Besides creating our composition, water also acts as/to:
– It aids in digestion.
– It lubricates your joints and cartilage and allows them to move more fluidly. In fact, when we are dehydrated, the body rations water away from our joints. The less water in our body, the greater the friction which is a direct cause of joint pain.
– Water moistens your eyeballs 👀so they work well and remain healthy.
Regulate body temperature
– It controls over-heating through sweat 💦. Perspiration evaporates causing a cooling effect.
– Blood (82% water) is also routed into areas close to the surface of the skin where it can be cooled and then carried back to the interior of the body.
– Water flushes toxins and waste from the body through urination.
– It helps reduce constipation and aids in bowel movements. Waste buildup can occur in the body if dehydration becomes a regular occurrence. This can cause headaches, toxicity and illness.
– Water helps lessen the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products.
Carry vital nutrients
– Nutrients from the food we eat are broken down in the digestive system to become water-soluble.
– Water allows nutrients to pass through the capillaries within the intestinal walls to the blood and circulatory system where the valuable nutrients and oxygen can be distributed throughout the body to all the cells and organs.
These past few days were just a taste of what this summer could potentially be. To combat the heat and make sure our bodies are prepared, be sure to pay close attention to your hydration. When thinking about water consumption, we must make sure that we are able to replenish what we sweat. Everyone has varying physical demands and their physiology is different so there is no “one solution fits all” approach to hydration. Typically, you want to drink water when you’re thirsty but also focus on making water the main source of hydration. Energy drinks, coffee and sports drinks serve to satisfy your taste buds while also affecting your physiology (blood pressure, blood volume, pH (blood acidity), internal body temperature). For an individual that spends a majority of his or her day stationary, his or her kidneys (urine color) and feeling of thirst will be great indicators of their hydration status. In contrast, active individuals must be aware of how much/often they sweat in addition to his or her urine color and sensation of thirst. To add to the complexity between individuals, human water requirement varies with body mass; larger individuals require a higher water intake. All in all, the effects of dehydration are more obvious and severe at the beginning of a change in climate conditions. However, we are here to try and simplify the plethora of information with 5 tips for making sure you’re hydrated this summer:
Carry a bottle of some sort with you and have it in arms reach (I.e shaker bottle, hydroflask, etc.).
> 2.5-3.0 L (85-100 oz)/day (4 refills of Progenex shaker bottle or 20 oz bottle)
Active individuals (training >2x per day OR whose job is physically demanding) should aim to drink 6 L of water per day (6 refills of Progenex shaker bottle or 20 oz bottle)
Drink WATER when you’re thirsty.
Studies have shown that drinking TOO MUCH water may actually lead to different negative health conditions.
Older individuals are also less sensitive to changes in the amount of fluids in their body (so focus on Tip 1!)
Use your urine color as a monitor for your hydration status.
Dark yellow – bad
Faint yellow (almost clear) - good
Red/brown - Call 911. PLEASE see a physician as soon as possible. This is a sign of possible organ failure and internal bleeding.
Drink plenty of water BEFORE and AFTER physical activity – consuming water during exercise is great for keeping your mouth moist... and for “rest”.
Focus on making water the main source of fluids for your hydration and not through other caloric drinks (soda, coffee, supplements, etc.).
Yes, you’re technically drinking water, but we want calories coming from food.
Coffee is a diuretic meaning you will be going to the bathroom to excrete it when we want your fluids to remain in your body.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (Sep. 05, 2014). Water: How Much Should You Drink Everyday. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
Popkin, B. M., et al. (2010). "Water, hydration, and health." Nutr Rev 68(8): 439-458.
Armstrong, L. E. and E. C. Johnson (2018). "Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement." Nutrients 10(12).
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