Ben­e­fits of drink­ing wa­ter

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

Get into shape

with Si­mon Gama

WA­TER is es­sen­tial for all en­ergy pro­duc­tion in the body. Wa­ter is also used for tem­per­a­ture reg­u­la­tion and waste elim­i­na­tion and is es­sen­tial to cell pro­cesses. An in­ad­e­quate sup­ply of wa­ter can re­sult in up to a 30 per­cent re­duc­tion in en­ergy.

Be­tween 50 per­cent and 70 per­cent of the body weight is wa­ter. In­suf­fi­cient wa­ter in the body re­sults in the body de­creas­ing in blood vol­ume thereby re­duc­ing the over­all oxy­gen trans­port abil­ity of the blood to prop­erly sup­ply the mus­cles dur­ing ex­er­cise. Since blood is used to reg­u­late body tem­per­a­ture in­ad­e­quate cool­ing of the body oc­curs.

The heart rate in­creases as the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem is stressed and over­heat­ing oc­curs lead­ing to pos­si­ble heart stroke or heat ex­haus­tion. We can sur­vive with­out other nu­tri­ents for sev­eral weeks.

How­ever, we can only sur­vive with­out wa­ter for about one week. Wa­ter is used to emul­sify so­lu­tions within the body and trans­port them to the var­i­ous tis­sues in­clud­ing the trans­port of waste by-prod­ucts.

Thirst is not an ac­cu­rate mea­sure of the body’s wa­ter re­quire­ment. Age and en­vi­ron­ment al­ter the thirst mech­a­nism. There­fore a quan­ti­ta­tive sched­ule must be utilised to ad­e­quately hy­drate the body. Two hours prior to ex­er­cis­ing in a hot en­vi­ron­ment the par­tic­i­pant should con­sume 2-3 cups of wa­ter and an­other 1-2 cups about 15 min­utes be­fore ex­er­cis­ing. Dur­ing ex­er­cise about 4 ounces of wa­ter should be con­sumed ev­ery 15 min­utes to re­place wa­ter lost through sweat­ing. While ex­er­cis­ing drink two glasses of wa­ter. A loss of only 2 per­cent of body weight through sweat­ing can bring on the on­set of de­hy­dra­tion. Adults should drink about 2-and -a-half quarts of wa­ter per day.

Early signs of de­hy­dra­tion in­clude dizzi­ness, fa­tigue, headache and loss of ap­petite. Ad­vanced de­hy­dra­tion is man­i­fested by rapid pulse, short­ness of breath, deep yellow urine, blurred vi­sion and hear­ing loss.

Cold wa­ter is ab­sorbed into the body from the stom­ach faster than warm wa­ter. Re­cent stud­ies sug­gest that drinks con­tain­ing up to 10% sugar are al­most as read­ily ab­sorbed from the stom­ach. These sug­ary drinks have been shown to im­prove en­durance in events last­ing 2 to 3 hours. How­ever, for fat burn­ing pur­poses, con­sump­tion of sug­ary drinks will pro­vide car­bo­hy­drate en­ergy to the ex­er­cis­ing mus­cles and pos­si­bly starve off fat me­tab­o­lism for use as en­ergy.

There­fore if your in­tent is per­for­mance then con­sume sports drinks. How­ever, if the pur­poses of the ex­er­cise ses­sion is to burn fat then drink wa­ter only.

The glyco­gen stored in the mus­cles will run out in about 20 min­utes and the body will be found to metabolise stored fat for con­tin­ued en­ergy. Con­sump­tion of salt in ex­cess of rec­om­mended di­etary re­quire­ments draws wa­ter out of the cells, thereby im­pair­ing cel­lu­lar func­tion.

Salt de­ple­tion may oc­cur dur­ing en­durance type ex­er­cises and when con­sum­ing wa­ter only. Salt tablets are not rec­om­mended be­cause they draw wa­ter out of the body and into the stom­ach.

In cold weather, urine pro­duc­tion is in­creased there­fore it is just as im­por­tant to prop­erly hy­drate in cold weather en­vi­ron­ments as it is in hot weather.

10 rea­sons why you should drink wa­ter: If you don’t drink wa­ter you will die, to pre­vent can­cer, be less cranky, per­form bet­ter, loss weight, have less joint pain, flush out waste and bac­te­ria, pre­vent headaches, make your skin grow, feed your body.

The writer, Si­mon Gama is a fit­ness coach at Body Works Gym in Bu­l­awayo.

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