As a child, you must have studied that air, water, food and shelter are the basic necessities of life. Water makes for three quarters of a body and assists in regulating body temperature, flushes toxins, maintains blood volume and much more. Insufficient amount of water can lead to dehydration and therefore, the minimum intake of water per person should be eight to ten glasses a day. This creation by Mother Nature is a renewable resource and complements an individual with innumerable advantages right from beautiful skin to improved health. In this piece, we will give you an insight into how water plays a major role in the form of nutrition and works a great deal in the overall wellbeing.
There is a lot of confusion among people behind the idea and concept of keeping a body hydrated. A certain group of people strongly believe that consuming liquids in the form of sodas, energy drinks or anything as such contribute to the amount of water a body requires. These instead give rise to diabetes and obesity issues among many, which unfortunately are already popular among the human race. In fact, there also are people who believe that the intake of tea and coffee adds to their hydration level, which in reality contributes towards dehydrating your body more. When talking about athletes, such drinks are constant companions for they believe in gaining sufficient energy. But how true is this belief?
Of course, endurance athletes cannot compare their requirement of water with that of a normal individual. Baring the heat while continuously sweating out under pressure to win a race, an endurance athlete’s body demands hydration magic at regular intervals for optimal recovery and performance. This is when they tend to include dozens of energy drinks to maximise recovery and performance. With proper hydration, an athlete can experience an array of positive results including:
- Improved performance due to efficient recovery process
- Delayed fatigue experience after competition and training
- Better focus during intense activities and competitions
- Contribution towards improved immune system and overall health
A well-hydrated athlete stays damage protected which automatically limits athletic injuries and enhances performance when on the field. However, it is essential to understand that it is not within the bounds to remain completely hydrated on such days because the presence of water gets eliminated in some possible manner or the other. In such cases, the key factor to remember and follow is to maintain hydration level and ensure to not get dehydrated. Why is that you ask? The blood in a human body, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscles for energy, tends to get a sudden drop in volume as they get dehydrated along with water during intense activities. This happens as blood is made up of plenty of water and the process of dehydration not only leads to deteriorated performance, but several other issues including muscle fatigue, dizziness, headache, dry skin and loss of energy.
Here’s what you can do to stay hydrated during events or any usual day:
This may be a common tip, but carrying your own bottle of water works wonders to not only stay hydrated but also save money and time. Waiting in long lines to buy a small bottle of water or maybe fill a glass when at a food joint or any public space can lead to unexpected risks. Plastic bottles also add to the plastic waste burden which results in harming the environment in a great manner. Moreover, when you are travelling, carrying a few bottles will definitely not harm you. This will only prove safe and keep you along with your companions hydrated throughout the journey. According to researches, when a person feels thirsty and feels his mouth dry, he can be as little as 1% dehydrated. Dehydration leads to mood swings and quickly dampens one’s energy level leading to a feeling of lethargy, loss of focus and more.
One of the oldest and easiest ways to check how well you are hydrated is to see the colour of your urine. The urine of a well-hydrated person will be light yellow in colour, while the ones who urinate a dark colour are dehydrated and immediately require drinking water. A body loses enough water when exposed to physical activities which can range from anything between working out to spending a day street shopping. So make it a habit to always carry a bottle of water and keep an eye on water filling stations to avoid queues.
Now, there are many other advantages of this magic potion for each person. Water is a boon to humankind and one must make the best use of it for its many benefits such as:
- Calorie Free Drink: Water contains 0 calories, but comprises of several minerals such as Sodium, Copper, Magnesium, Calcium, Selenium and Potassium.
- Stronger Muscles: Muscles make up 75% of water and therefore, it plays a vital role in its normal functioning. Having sufficient water prevents muscular cramps allowing an individual to exercise longer and meet his goals.
- Get in shape: Drinking water aids to weight loss by keeping a person fuller for longer and reduce cravings for calorie-laden drinks and foods. Drinking a glass of water before meal magically works to help eat less, assisting those on a weight loss journey receive tangible results.
- Glowing Skin: People who add sufficient amount of water to their diet tend to have gorgeous skin and delay the signs of early ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines and more. A well-hydrated skin is also a path to stay at bay from expensive anti-ageing treatments.
- Healthy Kidney: If the fluid intake in your body is adequate, your kidneys will work incredibly to cleanse and get rid of toxins. This further assists in reducing the chances of kidney stones and other kidney ailments.
- Snacking Control: When hungry, drinking a glass of water will help you ease away the hunger. People who have the habit to snack frequently or late at night should drink water to avoid unnecessary calories while also receiving several minerals.
To talk specifically about endurance athletes, water can be ranked as an essential element in their life because of an array of advantages that can be gained:
- The body tends to get dehydrated overnight leading to toxins accumulation. Therefore, drinking at least a glass of water first thing in the morning is a healthy way to start the day.
- Muscle fatigue and cramps are common among athletes and staying hydrated helps the issues stay at bay allowing longer and enhanced performance.
- Before a workout, drinking water will aid towards regulating the body temperature, thus resulting in fuelling the muscles and feeling more energetic.
- Exercising leads to generating heat, but athletes who are well hydrated will not face the consequences. How? A hydrated body keeps the body from overheating as the sweat that evaporates while exercising will help cool the body down.
- Water is the lubricant to the muscles and joints. It contributes towards maintaining the proper working of the joints and thus relieving an athlete from joint and back pains.
- The food consumed before, after or anytime during the day is delivered to the essential areas by water. So never run empty on water and keep hydrating yourself as and when you get the chance.
- Water helps a person cool down and after a day of sweating due to intense training or performance by an athlete, water plays the most important role to help cool down the body temperature.
For those who cannot include water in their diet as per the recommended amount, there are other ways to make the process interesting. One of the coolest methods to relish the goodness of water is by bringing flavours to your bottle of water! Add your favourite fruits that can range from anything like strawberries, grapefruit, peaches and pineapple to cranberries, raspberries and cucumber to your bottle of water. You can also include a pinch of cinnamon powder, lemon juice and mint leaves if desired to enhance the taste and help you keep sipping throughout the day. So, make water your favourite choice of beverage and ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day.