Besides oxygen, water is the most vital substance to maintain life. The human body consists to about 50-70% of water. Without drinking water, we could hardly survive 3-4 days. Most of our metabolic processes, especially the synthesis of nutrients for building muscles and burning fat, are based on an optimum water supply.
Functions of Water in Your Body
- Nutrient Supply. Water keeps the blood fluid and dissolves and transports essential vitamins.
- Catalysis. Water is an important catalyst in many enzymatic reactions.
- Digestion. Breaking down carbohydrates to glycogen and protein to amino acids requires water.
- Cleansing. Water cleans the system and transports waste materials and toxins from the body.
- Temperature Regulation. Water is required to regulate the body temperature, especially during physical activity.
Why You Should Drink a LotA regular and adequate water supply is beneficial for your health.
- Optimum Water Budget. Even at rest the body is loosing about 1,5 liters of water per day through respiration and skin. Physical activity leads to an even higher withdrawal of water through increased sweat production and respiration. Therefore especially athletes have much higher demand for water.
- Rapid Recovery. Muscular nutrient supply and regeneration require water. A deficient water supply will decrease your performance.
- Muscle Building. Muscles themselves consist mostly of water. Therefore muscle growth happens only when the body is adequately supplied with water.
- Fat Loss. The protein and fat metabolism is controlled by the liver. Water deficiency can slow down or even disrupt these processes.
- Satiety. Water fills the stomach, which is why the feeling of hunger can be reduced by a regular water supply.
- Improved Skin Image. A rapidly visible effect caused by an improved detoxification is a better appearance of the skin, because the body has less to do detoxifying through it.
Strategies For a Regular Water SupplyMany people find it hard to drink the recommended amount of water. You either have no feeling of thirst or simply forget to drink in the stress of daily life. Here's how to make it work anyway:
- Start Early. Drinking your first liter of water in the morning makes it easier to reach the recommended daily amount.
- Have Water Available. Place a water bottle within your reach, at home as well as at work or on the way. Drink from it regularly in small sips. Once it is empty, it should be refilled.
- Take in Additional Water Through Your Food. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis. It does not only improve your vitamin, but also your water supply, because fruits and vegetables consist of up 98% of clean water.
- Water With Each Meal. Make it a habit drink a large glass of water with each meal. Either before, to create an early sense of satiety, but in any event afterwards.
- Water During Training. Make a large bottle of water your favorite training partner and drink about 1 liter of water per hour of training. That should be done immediately. If not, the fluid loss must be compensated afterwards.
Symptoms of Water DeficiencyA lack of water in the body causes the following symptoms:
- Color and Smell of Urine. A quick and reliable indicator is your urine. It should always be colorless and odorless, everything else is a sign of a lack of fluid.
- Concentration Loss and Memory Disorders. Water deficiency causes the blood to thicken, which can lead to an under-supply of the brain.
- Other symptoms may be: restlessness, fatigue, nervousness, dry mouth.
The Recommended Daily Amount of WaterIn principle, the daily amount of water demand is related to the very individual metabolic rate.
Which in turn depends on parameters such as body weight and level of physical activity. There's a simple rule of thumb:
- 1 liter of water per day for every 45 pounds of body weight. Therefore a person weighting 160 pounds should drink about 3,5 liters of water per day.