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How hydration affects overall wellness and health
pHion Balance  |  0 Comment
You probably remember your high school science teacher telling you that your body is made up of 60-75% body weight and thinking, “No way!” Are we really just walking sacks of water? I hope you answered “yes” to that question on your midterm because the majority of our physiology is water. Keeping that high percentage of water in our bodies, or maintaining hydration, is essential. Equally important is not allowing our bodies to become depleted of water, or become dehydrated.The three main reasons we need to be properly hydrated are 1) to regulate body temperature, 2) to lubricate joints and 3) to transport nutrients and waste throughout the body. Water is involved in every system of your body, including maintaining homeostasis. In other words, water is in the control tower, making sure the body is running smoothly and on the lookout for problems such as a buildup of toxins or chemicals which are destructive at the cellular level. Without proper hydration, essential functions like digestion and absorption of nutrients and minerals will not function at ideal levels. Water is also the conductor of biochemical and electrochemical activity and can monitor reactions such as neurotransmitter activity to make sure it is working effectively.Hydration is the most underrated, yet water is the most essential compound the human being needs to survive. A person can live quite a while without food, but only approximately 72 hours without water. To maintain proper hydration, you should drink a gallon of water a day or 8 glasses of 8 oz cups of water. While that sounds like a lot, think back to what you had to drink today: 2 or 3 cups of coffee in the morning; a large soft drink for lunch, followed by a jumbo energy drink in the afternoon; another soda or a fruit flavored drink with dinner and few beers or glasses of wine in the evening. While none of those drinks in moderation will dehydrate you, by examining how much liquid you currently consume, it’s easy to see where water can be substituted. Another good recommendation is to lower your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. Both are diuretics which will increase your urine output and cause dehydration. If you feel thirsty, most likely you are already dehydrated. Your goal should be to drink water continuously throughout the day.Most athletes, amateur and professional, know that hydration is the centerpiece to proper training. During exercise or exertion, the muscles generate heat causing us to sweat. Sweat must be replenished with a hydrating liquid. Even losing as little as 2% of your body weight through sweating can decrease blood volume enough to force the heart to work harder to circulate blood, causing cramping, dizziness, fatigue, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. For individuals exercising for fitness Water is literally involved in every system of your body, including maintaining homeostasis. In other words, water is in the control tower, making sure the body is running smoothly and on the lookout for problems such as buildup of toxins or chemicals, which are destructive at the cellular level., water is ideal for hydration. For performance and competitive athletes, sports drinks that contain electrolytes and a mix of minerals including sodium, are necessary when pushing the body to extremes, especially in high temperatures and high altitudes.Here's
to your wellness,
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