Water: How much do you need?
Ahh life nectar, blue gold, the deep blue… whatever you call it, water is important. It’s more than important, it’s necessary for life!
You’re made of water!
The importance of water can’t really be understated, with our total body mass being made up of somewhere between 40% and 70% liquid, and about 60% is water! Differences in fluid content in the body between individuals is mainly due to body composition ie. muscle, fat etc. gender and how fit you are overall.
Working-out and Water
Another important function of water is that it regulates your body temperature during a workout. Sweating naturally occurs when your body exceeds the normal temperature of approximately 37 degrees, which in turn, will require you to replenish your water supply in order for this process to happen efficiently.
How much water is enough?
Unfortunately, our sense of ‘thirst’ isn’t something that is well-developed in human beings, as it often only comes long after you’re dehydrated. Meaning, you should be proactive about your water consumption and pay close attention to how much water you're drinking everyday.
Keep in mind that an average adult needs about 2 litres of pure water per day, but don’t wait until you're thirsty to drink. Some of the main symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth or throat
- Extremely yellow urine
- Increased pulse
- Lower body weight than the day before
- A general lower quality of bodily functioning ie. mental concentration
When should I drink water?
There are a number of circumstances that can change how much water you need to drink. For example, if you’re exposed to hot and dry weather and do a high intensity workout, then, you’ll need to drink about 1-3 cups of water every 15-20 minutes (or about 1 litres/hour)!
How to drink enough water
- Start your day by drinking a glass of water (a glass beside your bed will remind you).
- To boost your natural electrolytes, add some lime or lemon to water.
- Drink one cup of water 2-3 hours before you workout, then drink a cup or two 15 minutes before your workout.
- You can drink water during your workout (just don't over do it). If you’re working out for a long time, you can drink more. But, if your workout is only 7 minutes, drinking water before and after is enough.
- Drink a glass of water after every meal.
Pro Tip: You can get a lot of water you need from the foods that you eat, some food contains more than others. Foods with particularly high water content include strawberries, watermelon, oranges and cantaloupe.
What’s water good for?
Water has a number of purposes over and above making sure you are well hydrated. Water protects your cells, regulates your body’s blood production and then your blood transports oxygen and nutrients throughout body. Water also helps your body rid itself of carbon dioxide and toxins when you sweat and after a short trip to the loo!
Some more protective functions of water include lubrication and shock absorption. Your joints love water, while the water your spinal cord protect you against shock. Water aids a healthy pregnancy, foetal water for instance serves as a shock absorber for your baby to be. Water helps you produce tears which wash dirt from your eyes and assists in saliva production allowing you to process, chew and swallow your food.
So, next time you do... pretty much anything, you can thank water for that.