Water is our most vital nutrient!
The body is composed of approximately 87% water and makes up about 60% of our body weight. It provides an environment in and around our cells for nutrition, removal of waste, control of blood volume and allows muscle contractions. It also plays a large role in our cooling system through the action of sweating. The average length of survival without water is just 3 days!
Dehydration is very dangerous and a loss of only 10-20% of water in the body can ultimately lead to organ shut down and death. It is very common however to find people who are in chronic mild dehydration without obvious symptoms. Fluid loss of equal to just 2% of body mass can lead to a gradual reduction in both mental and physical performance and even an increased perception of how hard you are working.
Some of the symptoms of dehydration include sluggishness, sense of fatigue, headaches, light headedness and even nausea and digestive disturbance. As a practical test, your urine should always be very pale yellow, if its dark coloured or of a small volume get drinking some water! We should be going to the toilet about 5-6 times a day. Remember……it is too late to drink when you are thirsty as you are already dehydrated!
To determine the amount of water we need daily for our individual body types you can follow this formula: –
body weight (kg) x 0.033 = amount water in litres / day
This will represent a normal day, the amount of fluid intake will change and increase when exercising.
It is important that we drink good quality water, ideally not tap water which can be contaminated with agricultural chemicals. We can also find traces of metals such as lead that have leached from the piping system and of course chlorine! Filtered or bottled water is preferable. The water container itself is also a factor. Glass, stainless steel or clear plastic containers are preferable, but it is important to keep the plastic out of direct heat and sunlight as it may leach toxins out of the bottle and into your fluid when warm (avoid recycle #3 &7). Not only that but metal flasks don’t harbor bacteria like plastic ones can.
Drinking water that is room temperature is absorbed quicker into the body and doesn’t sit in the stomach waiting to be heated up, so try to avoid those ice laden drinks when you want to re-hydrate!
Read this great article by Dr Frank Lipman regarding water and why we should filter it!!
Enjoy and maybe read some of his other excellent health and well being articles.
See you fully hydrated in class this week 🙂