The ins and outs of hydration

The importance of hydration:

Water is necessary for life yet we are constantly losing it through processes like breathing, sweating, excretion, and exercsise.  Over the next few weeks as we challenge our members to increase their water intake we’re going to cover the ins and out of hydration so you can have a better understanding of why you’re grabbing that water bottle.

You always hear that you should drink water, but why?

For starters, water makes up over half of who we are, it’s inside our cells in what is called intracellular fluid, its outside of our cells as extracellular fluid.  

Different parts of the body contain different amounts of water and how much water you carry is dependent on your body composition and your hormones.  This is the main reason why you’ll see day to day fluctuations in your body weight:

Water content of different areas of your body:

  • Bones - 22%

  • Fat Tissue - 25%

  • Muscle and brain tissue - 75%

  • Eyes - 95%

  • Blood - 83%

Water fulfills a lot of important jobs within your body:

  • Water acts as a solvent that dissolves nutrients like proteins as well as enzymes and DNA

  • Water is a transporter that brings nutrients to cells and carries waste away.  

  • Water acts as a catalyst, it speeds up enzymatic interactions without the need for other chemicals

  • Water is a lubricant, it acts as a shock absorber of r the eyes and spinal cord as well as keeps the joints moving smoothly.

  • Water is a temperature regulator, as a result of an increase in our body temperature, we use water for perspiration to cool us.

  • Water is a source of micronutrients. Historically, consuming water provided us with a lot of dissolved minerals, in our modern world the water is processed removing pollutants then minerals and floride are added.

Hydration is all about fluid balance:

Fluid balance is the relationship between fluid coming in (mostly from food and drinks) and out (from sweating, breathing, excreting, vomiting) of your body.

How much fluid do we lose?

Breathing and skin evaporation: Our nasal passages and lungs moisten the air that we breath and we’re always losing water through evaporation our skin, though we can’t feel it like sweating.   These process cause around 650-850 mL of loss every 24 hours.

Excretion: WE lose fluid through both feces and urine.  An average adult needs an absolute minimum of about ½ L water per day for healthy kidney function.  At this low intake, you put yourself at risk of kidney stones and other problems due to the high concentration of your urine.

Lack of water also causes constipation, conversely diarrhea causes significant loss of fluid.

Sweating: During intense exercise, especially in hot climates, we can lose quite a lot of water.  In general, we sweat around 0.5-2.0L per hour of activity.


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