Weekly Lesson #2 - Water Consumption

Weekly Lesson #2 - Water Consumption

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Even Derek Zoolander knows the importance of water. Fluid balance is important in the body to perform necessary functions, for your organs to work, to maintain your temperature, to lubricate joints, and to remove waste. Oh yeah, and to be beautiful ;) What happens when you don’t have enough water? Chronic fatigue. Dry skin. Infrequent bowel movements. Muscle cramps. Overeating.

When it comes to overeating, often times we think that we are hungry, when in fact, we are merely dehydrated. Next time you’re hungry and feel like there isn’t a substantiated reason why you should be, drink 12 ounces of water and wait 5 minutes. See if you’re still truly hungry again or not. If you end up being hungry again, that water will simply help in digestion of your upcoming meal!

The recommended daily consumption of water is half of an individual’s bodyweight in ounces. If you’re a 185 lb. individual, then you should drink 93 ounces of water simply to maintain bodily function at an optimal level. This is does not include any sort of exercise, whether it be walking to your car, scrubbing the counters, or taking a brisk walk.

When it comes to athletic performance, a 2% decrease in fluid balance can lead up to a 25% performance decrease. (Amanda Carlson, Director of Performance and Nutrition for NFL Athletes Performance) With proper hydration, the heart does not have to pump as hard to circulate blood throughout the body and oxygen and nutrients get shuttled to the appropriate sites sooner and with greater ease. When it comes to muscle recovery, in a dehydrated athlete tissues heal slower. (Trent Nessler, PT, DPT, MPT, managing director of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville).

If you are exercising, shoot for 15-20 ounces of water 1-2 hours before your workout. If you are moderately active, aim to drink an additional 12 ounces every 30 minutes while in motion. If you are aggressively active, aim to drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes. If you are sitting around at your desk on the computer, you’re still utilizing water and need to take it in! Aim for 12 ounces every hour of sedentary work.

Janet Navarrette