ARE you drinking enough water? As the weather is warming up it is really important to
ARE you drinking enough water? As the weather is warming up it is really important to keep hydrated.
Water is an essential nutrient which is often overlooked. It makes up to 50 to 75 per cent of our bodies. We can live for days — possibly weeks — without food, but without water you couldn’t last much past a day. Water is like oil in the car as it helps everything to work properly:
• Assists the efficient metabolism of all nutrients
• Carries nutrients in the blood
• Helps kidneys to function normally
• Removes waste products
Other bodily functions
• Lubricates joints and organs
• Helps to build and repair body
• Assisting with the regulation of body temperature
• Acting as a solvent for the body’s constituents
• Provides a suitable environment for the body’s chemical reactions
You probably think of getting water from a tap or bottle, but did you know you can get water from what you eat? The water content from food can be anything from 10 to 98 per cent, but the water from food isn’t enough on its own. In addition to what you receive in your food, you must make sure you drink water.
We store water like a sink without a plug. In one end and out the other. If we don’t keep topping up then all the water we consume is either used, or drains away. To optimise the amount of water we store is to ensure we have enough glycogen in our muscles.
Most people store water in their feet, legs and ankles. If this happens in otherwise healthy adults it could be sign of inactivity or hormonal changes such as pregnancy. However, it could also be a sign of something more serious such as liver, kidney or heart disease. This way of storing water is different to the way water is stored when someone consumes too much.
Water requirements vary considerably from person to person. You have probably heard that you should drink two litres a day or only drink when you are thirsty, but there is insufficient scientific evidence to set an exact figure.
Fluid requirement is based on energy requirements, which in turn are determined by age, weight and activity level. Environmental conditions including temperature and humidity also have an effect on fluid requirements.
In general, you need one ml of water for every kcal burnt. If you have a sedentary lifestyle or are inactive then you require roughly two litres of water. If you are more active then this could increase up to 10 litres depending on energy requirements and environmental conditions. For example, a women who burns 2,500 kcals a day would require 2.5 litres of water. A very active male cyclist burning 7,000 kcals a day would require seven litres of water.
Look after yourself, keep eating healthily, exercising and drinking water. See you in July!