Hydration is imperative to maintain good health, for all of our bodily functions, actions and reactions. Our individual fluid requirements vary depending on our gender, body mass, age, physical activity levels, health status and ambient temperature.
70% of the average adult's body is made up solely of water and this requires daily management. The key to successful hydration is consistency, drinking little and often throughout the day. The recommended daily intake for the average sedentary adult is 2.5 Litres.
1-2% Loss of body water can impair performance including ; Concentration, focus, co-ordination, speed, strength and flexibility. To add to this, becoming dehydrated can lead to headaches, sickness, general fatigue or lethargy and also increases our risk of muscular injury.
= Skin 600ml, Lungs 350ml, going to the Toilet 1600ml = 2550ml
= Food 1000ml, Fluids 1200ml, Metabolic water 350ml, = 2550ml
These levels demonstrate an average day of functional requirements but DO NOT allow consideration of exercise demands on our water levels.
Exercising increases our water requirements because of sweating, our blood flow increase, muscular stress, increased breathing rate, heart rate and post exercise toxin drainage. It is estimated that an additional 0.5-1Litre of water such be consumed per workout.
The exact scientific requirements state to weight yourself prior to exercise and per 1lb of weight lost in exercise drink 16oz of water.
- Maintain water levels consistently throughout the day
- 2.5L is a daily requirement just to maintain function not considering exercise.
- Exercise increases the volume of water we require in that day.
- Fizzy juices, teas and coffees are not pure water so cannot be counted as pure hydration.
The most effective way to monitor your hydration is in Urine colour. It should be a light dilute straw yellow. You should not be able to smell it. Darker yellow, solid colour or orange indicates dehydration.
Sheli J McCoy (MRes, BSc Hons SES)
Sports science rehabilitation specialist
Owner & Head Therapist of "Complete Phyzique" ltd.