As we all know, water is a major component of our body and water consumption is needed to help with exercise performance. Almost one third of our body weight is composed of water and, therefore, we must meet the adequate amount in order to maintain the fluid balance in our body.
Fluid balance is a state in which our water intake is equal to the amount you are able to excrete. Water is normally lost through our urine, the air we exhale, in feces and also through our skin in the form of sweat. Furthermore, fluid balance is essential to our body because it will determine if we are fully hydrated or dehydrated. To stay hydrated, we must be able to drink an adequate amount of water.
Regular water consumption is very important to maintain life. It maintains hydration and plays several roles in our body:
- It helps every organ in the body to function properly.
- It aids in the most important processes in the body, such as digestion, absorption, and excretion.
- It is known to be the universal solvent, so it acts as a medium for all chemical changes that occurs in the body.
- It serves as a transportation vehicle of nutrients to the cells as well as being a part of our blood.
- Drives waste products out of our body in the form of urine, feces, exhaled air and sweat.
- It regulates our body temperature in coordination with the hypothalamus.
- It acts as a lubricating agent for mobilizing some parts in the body.
- Maintains an adequate hydration status.
If one was not able to meet the sufficient amount of water to drink, most likely it will lead to dehydration. Dehydration is a medical condition in which sodium and water lost in the body; thus altering the normal fluid balance in the body. Believe it or not, a great number of athletes suffer from this condition. It is proven that athletes who suffer from dehydration decrease their performance in their chosen sports. Dehydration also poses a lot of health threats to the body such as:
- It triggers a drop in the circulatory blood volume, therefore possibly leading to shock which is a very serious medical condition.
- Moreover, a drop in the blood volume, the body compensates by letting the heart pump out more blood. An increase in the cardiac work load might result in cardiac arrest or heart attack.
- Aside from this, if not much water was consumed to stay hydrated, dehydration may also lead to various heat illnesses which include heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
- If dehydration turns out to be very severe, it can even result to death.
In order to prevent dehydration and its complications, one must be able to drink a sufficient amount of water. In order to stay hydrated, you must:
- Drink at least 450 ml of water, 2 to 3 hours before you do any exercises or workouts
- Drink at least 240 ml of water, during any physical activities
- If there is a remarkable fluid loss, replace it volume per volume with adequate amount of water: at least 600 ml of water