People cannot stay alive without water, but we can survive for several days without food. It is also required for the removal of toxic substances. Approximately 55 to 70% of total body weight is made up of water. As people get older, their water percentage decreases. As a result, infants and children have much higher water content than adults. A fatty person contains less water than a lean person. Water is a necessary nutrient, just like oxygen, for life to exist. Water is also required for the formation of new tissues during growth.
- Water is a component of all body fluids, therefore it aids in the transportation of digested products to the right organs. For example, blood, which includes 90% water, transports nutrients to cells, carbon dioxide to the lungs, waste nitrogenous material, and salt to the kidneys.
- The majority of the waste is dissolved in urine, which is composed of water (around 97%), allowing the body to expel soluble metabolic waste products.
- Water is a universal solvent that can dissolve all digestive products.
- Water is called a building material. Every cell’s creation involves it. The water content of the body’s cells and tissues varies, with fatty tissues containing 20% water, bones containing 25%, and muscles containing 60% to 80%.
- Water acts as a lubricant between internal organs and in joints.
- It allows chemicals to move between blood vessel cells and keeps the body’s cells wet.
- Water helps to remove heat from the body by evaporating water from the skin’s surface. It is an efficient method of eliminating body heat.
- Death usually occurs after one week of no liquids (two to three days in the heat), but humans have been known to survive for months without food.
Water and Exercise Relationship
- Water is important in two aspects of exercise physiology: “Heat Dissipation” and “Physiological Homeostasis.”
- Body temperature is regulated via heat loss through Heat Dissipation.
- Water aids in Physiological Homeostasis by regulating the body’s internal environment to keep things stable and constant so that physical activity can be adjusted.
- Normal body water turnover in an adult is from 1.7 to 2.3 L/day
Fluid Intake Suggestions
- Drinking voluntarily before feeling thirsty. When a person loses 1% of their body fluid, they experience thirst and discomfort. You are already dehydrated if you are thirsty.
- Avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, while initially providing water to the body, contain diuretics, which cause the body to lose water.
- Cold beverages are more palatable during and after exercise, and athletes will consume more fluids as a result.
- Avoid concentrated juices, sweetened beverages, chocolate milk, and soda. These sugared beverages will slow the rate of rehydration.
- The drink you choose will be determined by whether you need it to replace fluid losses, provide more energy/carbohydrate, or both. Plain water or sports drinks containing 4 to 8% carbohydrate are both acceptable.
Intake Fluid Before Exercise
- Up to two hours before an endurance exercise session, drink 600ml of fluids.
- 15 minutes before exercise, drink 200 mL of fluids.
Intake Fluid During Exercise
- Drink 150-350 ml of fluids every 15-20 minutes while engaging in vigorous or extended exercise, or while exercising in a hot or humid area (depending on individual sweating rate & exercise duration).
- During exercise, splashing some water on the skin’s surface can aid in reducing perspiration evaporation.
- In low-intensity non-endurance events when carbohydrate replacement is not a top goal, plain water is helpful. since the body absorbs it much more quickly.
- Sports drinks can maintain fluid-electrolyte balance and exercise performance if exercise lasts longer than an hour.
- To maintain high rates of blood glucose oxidation late in exercise and to postpone exhaustion, it is often adequate to consume between 30 and 60 g of carbohydrates for every hour of activity.
Excessive Fluid Consumption after Exercise
- Drinking too much (1-2L) will increase blood circulation, which will put more strain on the cardiovascular system.
- the risk that comes with consuming too much fluid, which in extreme cases could lead to hyponatremia, or a low sodium level in the blood, when the plasma sodium level is below 135 mmol/L.
- Athletes who drink too much water may develop hyponatremia, a hazardous illness that happens when the body’s salt levels are diluted.
- Most fruits and vegetables are between 70% and 95% water.
- All grains used to make food include some water. Water is also present in cooked meals.
- Drinking water and beverages are excellent sources of water for the body.