NAFC NewsBlast - June 2017 | Ed 1
Water the Critical Nutrient: How to Avoid Dehydration
By Tammy LeBoss | thefitprofoodie.com
Copyright: antonioguillem / 123RF Stock Photo
Hydrate, Hydrate, ...then Hydrate
Summer is here and with it, the summer solstice arrives. Depending on where you are in the world this shift will occur on June 21-23rd. This will mark the longest day of the summer season, and people in various parts of the world will receive the most direct sunlight. With this comes the inevitable rise in temperatures, and thus, the increased need to hydrate.
How much water is enough to drink? If training outdoors, keep in mind that the hottest time of the day will be mid-afternoon even though the sun is the highest at mid-day. Help your clients to stay on a motivated path, beat the summer heat, and remind them about proper hydration. Tell them this:
Water is a critical nutrient and has been referred to as the 2nd most important nutrient after oxygen. Water is needed for survival. Studies show mild dehydration is one of the most common causes of daytime fatigue. This is a common problem particularly during the summer months. Estimates show that 75% of Americans have mild to chronic dehydration. This is alarming since proper hydration is required for maintaining healthy blood flow, proper kidney function, proper sodium/potassium /electrolyte balance and proper digestive functions.
According to NAFC Nutrition Coach, water gives us life. It also says, the human body is comprised of 65% water. Water is necessary for life to exist. It makes us healthier and it’s incredibly refreshing especially after a workout. Water is not only the most important nutrient in the body, but also the most abundant. It’s critical to the balance of all the body's systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles. In fact, the body needs water for millions of metabolic processes, temperature control, fluid volume, and lubrication.
Is it possible to drink too much water and how much is enough? We’re often told that drinking 8 glasses a day is best to stay healthy. But the truth is, this specific number is arbitrary and there’s no scientific research that backs this. Regardless, we know that water is extremely important. In fact, every organism we know of requires water to survive. We cannot survive without water if attempting to go 3 days without it. NAFC’s Nutrition Coach recommends the following rule-of-thumb formula for determining your optimum daily water intake:
Pro Tip 1: Consume between 1⁄2 to 1 oz. of purified water per day per pound of body weight depending upon your general activity level and your environmental conditions or surroundings.
This does not include compensation for losses due to exercise or excessive sweating. Add another 6-12+ ounces per 15-20 minutes of exercise depending on how hot it is, the relative humidity, and how much you sweat in relation to others under the same conditions.
We need to drink enough water to replace normal daily losses via perspiration, waste removal, and breathing. The following factors also contribute to the need for increased water consumption:
- Increased or hot weather
- Increased workload
- Increased respiration
- Increased bowel movements
- Large amounts of caffeine or sugar consumed
Although the exact amount of water needed per day is undetermined by scientists, this depends on the individual. Athletes need more as they tend to lose more water through sweat and breathing. So, for athletes, thirst may not be the best indicator of the need to drink more water.
Pro Tip 2: Have water readily available at all times and never rely on just thirst alone.
For optimal performance, learn more about the importance of electrolyte balancing.
Ask about NAFC’s Sports Performance and Nutrition Coach courses. Understand how to avoid serious electrolyte disturbances, such as dehydration and over-hydration. Share these tips with your clients. Give them the tools to stay on a motivated as well as a properly-hydrated course today. Stay in the game and never stop learning!