|If someone you know is infected, obese, depressed, chronically ill or just plain sick, check their water intake. Almost everyone today is dehydrated but accepts this state as "normal". The good news is that the solution, literally, is simple and cost effective.
So how much water does a human being need? 30ml (one fluid ounce) of clean filtered water per kilogram of lean body mass per day. Not total bodyweight, but lean functional mass. Fat mass is a poor retainer of water and makes zero contribution to motion.
In addition, fitness athletes require an extra 1-2 liters to compensate for elevated body temperature and lost fluids caused by sweating in response to strenuous exercise, sport and daily workouts. The exact amount depends on ambient temperature, exposure to light, altitude, intensity and length of training and urine color. Dark urine suggests poor hydration and a need for more water.
I'm 52 and weigh 218lbs (99kg). My bodyfat is 10%, so let's estimate my lean mass at 89kg. 30ml x 89kg = 2670ml. I should drink close to 3 liters of filtered water per day plus an additional 1-2 liters each time I workout in the gym, preferably with an electrolyte antioxidant powder added to my drinking water to compensate for fluid and electrolyte loss.
Another way to estimate water requirement is to calculate your calorie intake and convert this figure into milliliters. The body needs about 1ml of water for each calorie burned. This method isn't as accurate as the lean mass method, but still provides a useful guideline. Like the Body Mass Index (BMI), I never use this method because I never count calories. I count quality, money, sets, reps, birthdays and good times, but never calories.
Most tap water is unsuitable for drinking, even for animals, so carry filtered bottled water in your purse, briefcase, car and workout bag. Our drug-ridden society is now so loaded on pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs that toxic residues are showing up in the city water supply.
Water and its effect on exercise performance are crucial to understand. But rarely do you see anyone in the gym drinking clean filtered water between sets. No wonder so few train with diligence or intensity. Fluid loss and electrolyte deficiency can lead to fatigue, impaired glucose metabolism, muscle weakness, cramping, abdominal pain, adrenal exhaustion and headaches. How many cardiac events are caused by chronic dehydration? We'll never know.
During strenuous or prolonged physical activity, the water content of all body compartments decreases as a result of fluid loss through sweating and insensible water loss from the lungs, especially at high altitude. A two percent loss of bodyweight via water loss can greatly reduce exercise capacity.
Consider this. Drinking filtered clean water alone does not cover electrolyte loss. Ever wonder what's in your sweat? Electrolytes. Elements that act as electromagnetic energy conductors. The important ones include potassium, magnesium, phosphate, sulfate, bicarbonate, sodium, chloride and hydrogen.
Electrolytes carry both negative and positive electrical charges that affect the bioelectrical status of cells. They regulate intracellular fluid volume, control the pH of cells and modulate fluid exchange within various fluid compartments. Electrolytes permit a constant, well-regulated exchange of nutrients and waste products between the cell and its external fluid environment.
A good electrolyte supplement should enhance fluid replacement and replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. But please, spare the sodium. Enough already! The one I use and promote provides potassium to sodium ratio of 7:1, the same balance found in all natural plant and animal food from land and sea, when calculated as an average. This is Nature's perfect balance. Each serving provides 700mg of potassium and 100mg of sodium.
The electrolyte powder my friends and clients add to their workout water bottle is also reinforced with 1000mg of buffered non-acidic vitamin C to help stabilize blood sugar and support adrenal function. Vitamin C improves tolerance to exercise, increases the body's immune response to stress and decreases both healing time and risk of infection.
Vitamin C is arguably the most important water-soluble antioxidant in the body. It protects cells from oxidative damage and is directly involved in the formation of collagen, cartilage and connective tissue, all of which give elasticity, resilience, strength and stability to every active body.
The average adult human body holds about 42 liters of water, approximately 60%. But like the earth itself, 70-75% water is much better for health and performance. 70-75% is similar to the water content of an infant born from the ocean of the womb, and birth time is as close to perfection as we'll ever get. Keep your body well-hydrated and expect your energy, internal plumbing and exercise recovery all to improve.
About 28 liters make up intracellular fluid or what's inside the cell. The remaining 14 liters comprise extracellular fluid and vascular plasma (blood & lymph). Dehydration refers to water loss leading to hypo- or low hydration; rehydration is the process of adding water from a state of hypohydration toward euhydration. Euhydration is the absence of absolute or relative hydration or dehydration. It refers to a so-called "normal" state of body water content at rest, which today is sub-par at best.
A well designed electrolyte supplement should maximize fluid replacement and replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. It should provide an ideal potassium sodium ratio (7:1) and each serving when added to a liter of water should provide a 7% carbohydrate percentage for sustaining energy during energy exertion.
The best hydration product I know of has a proprietary 3-stage glucose release system designed to sustain energy requirements over time to prevent fatigue and extend time to exhaustion. This energy system was developed to stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels. The 3-stage glucose release system provides a steady continuous energy source during exercise and physical activity.
Fructose (stage 1) is a six-carbon sugar derived from fruits and vegetables. It has a low glycemic index of 35. Brown rice flour consisting of maltose & glucose (stage 2) has a medium glycemic index of 55. Dextrose or grape sugar (stage 3) has a high glycemic index of 100. The net effect of consuming fructose, brown rice flour and dextrose together in solution combined with electrolytes and vitamin C, is to improve muscle cell hydration, even out blood sugar and improve exercise performance.
When dissolved in water a well formulated electrolyte mix creates a solution that is absorbed faster from the intestines than water only. Rehydration is dependent on the rate of gastric emptying and intestinal absorption, which is influenced by solute concentration, electrolyte balance, carbohydrate composition, water temperature and pH. A good sport drink must be functional and beneficial to health, not just taste good.
Slowly, ever so slowly, our thirst mechanism begins to fail. Over time we dry up and oxidize like a fallen autumn leaf. Why? Because we don't drink enough filtered water, and we lose lean mass caused mainly from inactivity. We also eat too much "dry" food like bread and overcooked denatured tissue protein. We smoke, drink alcohol and coffee and take an unprecedented amount of medication. Eventually the water content inside our cells, the protoplasm that bathes our genes of life, gradually diminishes. Make sure your water level is up. When the engine overheats and begins to steam, it's the first thing you should check under the hood.
As always, stay well and live free... CH
The Cory Holly Institute (CHI) provides students and members everywhere with the most comprehensive and reliable sports nutrition education in the world. Visit CoryHolly.com.