HYDRATION – drinking water alone does not “hydrate” the body.
You’ve heard it many times…drink lots and lots of water! The NHS recommends that you should drink a minimum of 6-8 cups of water a day, while many other institutions and nutritionists believe you should drink even more (up to half your body weight in ounces of water each and every day). Sounds great…but are you hydrating or just flushing your system? With summer supposedly around the corner now is an excellent time to look at understanding hydration, Scitec Nutrition Athlete Emi Roberti explains.
Many people misunderstand the concept of hydrating and here is a big difference between simply drinking water and actually absorbing water (hydrating). Nowadays people are much better at drinking more water, however, the body is not absorbing the majority of it because water doesn’t have the essential minerals, electrolytes, and salts to keep it in your system.
Sure, you may have to go to the toilet constantly, but is that a good thing? No, because you are just flushing your system and not allowing your body the time it needs to absorb the essential minerals. This can be a big issue if you are someone who tends to sweat a lot or partakes in a lot of sports and needs to replenish their body regularly.
For every pound of weight lost in a workout, it is equal to 16-20 ounces (approximately 475-590mls) of fluid lost. In this same period, the human body loses 220mg sodium, 63mg potassium, 8mg magnesium, and 16mg calcium. Excessive sweating or weight loss during a workout is a natural process, however, you need to replenish the nutrients lost as well as the water in order for your body to adapt and recover.
Consider this...Exercise makes us weaker, and it’s our adaptation to exercise that makes us stronger.
Hydration is crucial both during exercise and when your body is recovering. Do you want to see results and get stronger? Then you need to replenish these lost nutrients.
Electrolytes are designed to help people make the most of their downtime and recovery time. Electrolytes are chemicals (primarily sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin c) that form ions in body fluids. They help make sure specific bodily functions run at optimal levels. Too few electrolytes will cause the body to cramp and as serious athletes know, cramping can make a big difference in how you perform.
So how do we prevent cramping and keep our body running at its peak performance levels?
We keep it supplied with the needed amount of electrolytes. If you’re dehydrated, you can’t repair the tissue damage from the last workout, you can’t synthesize protein properly. You see ligaments and tendons that become more vulnerable, and they aren’t able to withstand day-to-day use as well, even just in normal life. There’s a lot more conscious when it comes to how we hydrate.
What we want to do is make it simple for people to actually absorb the water they’re drinking and we can supplement with minerals and electrolytes.