How does water intake affect your health and fitness goals? Why to drink plenty of water? How much do we actually need? Why is it extremely important to drink water during exercising? What if we are not thirsty? And why is that?
-Water makes up nearly 60% of total body weight.
-For example: bone contains 22% water, muscle cells contain 75% water, blood contains nearly 83% water.
-Without exercising, we lose an average 1500 ml of water every day.
-Thirst is a very poor indicator of hydration status, in fact, thirst usually isn’t perceived until 1-2% of body weight is lost. At that point, if you are exercising, performance decreases will already have occurred. Even if you are not exercising, mental focus and clarity may have dropped off.
Why do we need water?
-Lessens the burden on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products
-Carries oxygen and nutrients to cells
-Helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body
-Helps prevent constipation
-Regulates body temperature
It is very simple: our body needs water to function properly.
What happens when we don’t drink enough?
Here is an easy-to-understand chart about the effect of water loss on the body. (The first column shows the water loss in %, and the second column the effect of it:
0.5%Increased strain on the heart
1% Reduced aerobic endurance
3% Reduced muscular endurance
4% Reduced muscle strength, reduces motor skills, heat cramps
5% Heat exhaustion, cramping, fatigue, reduced mental capacity
6% Physical exhaustion, heatstroke, coma
How much water do we actually need?
There are different ways to estimate the fluid need. One of the easier methods is estimating according to body weight.
As per this method, for every kilogram of body weight you would ingest 30-40 milliliters of water. So if you weigh 50 kg for example, you would need 1.5-2 liters of water per day.
This requirement increases in warm weather conditions and during exercising.
Why do I not feel thirsty?
You might ask the question. As pointed out above, thirst itself is a sign of danger, your body has already lost a lot of water.
Our body gives different signs of being dehydrated: headache, fatigue, low blood pressure, dizziness. And one of the interesting signs could be hunger.
So before you make your afternoon coffee, or reach for a painkiller, or think you are being hungry again, try this “trick”: drink a glass of water!
Beside these, there are certain types of food- processed, sugary, fatty food – which will make you not feeling thirsty. If you eat plenty of fruit and veg, beside the fact that these foods contain higher amount of water themselves, you will feel the need of more water because of the fibers.
Can I drink any kind of fluid?
No. You can’t replace water with sugary and flavored drinks. Why? There are several reasons for that. Flavored drinks usually contain high amount of unhealthy sugars and artificial additives, which do more harm than good for your body. Not to mention their weight-gain ‘side-effect’.
We are talking here about mineral water. That is what your body needs. Not just plain tap water, because, especially during exercising, you do not only need to replace the lost body-water, but also the salts and minerals.
Hydration before and during exercising
As we were saying, exercising increases the amount of water our body needs. During aerobic types of exercises, like Zumba, where we sweat a lot, it is extremely important to drink enough water.
About 500 milliliters of water is recommended approximately 30 minutes before exercise followed by approximately 250 milliliters every 15 minutes during exercise.
The way our classes are designed lets you sip a bit of water after each song, so you can make sure your body continuously gets the water so much needed.
How to start drinking more water? The best way to get used to drinking more water is to always have water somewhere around you: on your working desk, in your bag, everywhere. Seeing the glass or bottle of water all the time will remind you of drinking, and you will actually feel “thirsty” more times than usually.
Never start your Zumba class (or any other exercise) without having a bottle of water at hand. Slowly-slowly you will get to the point where you will drink enough water with no extra effort. And your body will reward that!
So grab your bottle of water, and book your next Zumba class! CLICK HERE