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WATER UP! WHY FLUID IS IMPORTANT

March 25, 2017
With Autumn already cooling off the days, I thought this post may be useful as we all know it's easy to forget about drinking water as the hotter days start turning to cold.

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FACT Safe drinking water is essential to humans and other life forms.

On average, water can be nearly 60% of an adult’s total body weight [1]. During exercise or work tasks, the body maintains its optimal body temperature through sweating. Heat is removed from the body when beads of sweat on the skin evaporate, which results in a loss of body fluid. Sweat production (and therefore fluid loss) increases with a rise in ambient temperature and humidity, as well as with an increase in exercise or work task intensity. So, while sweat loss during activity is essential for body temperature regulation, it can lead to dehydration.

Drinking fluid during activity is necessary to replace fluids lost in sweat. However, in some cases, the rates of sweat loss are higher than the rate of fluid intake. This can lead to a fluid deficit which ultimately increases the likelihood of dehydration. It is not advised to seek hydration by drinking popular sports or energy drinks. A study (Effects of Energy Drinks on Economy and Cardiovascular Measures) found no performance benefits in the study. [2]

‘The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.' – Isak Dinesen 

FUN FACT

A daily water intake of 3.7 L for adult men and 2.7 L for adult women meets the needs of most people.

HOW MUCH FLUID AND WHEN?
Drinking fluid before, during and after activity helps to prevent a drop in performance caused by dehydration. Here are some tips:
•    Always start activity well hydrated; this will lower the risk of becoming dehydrated during activity.
•    Develop a plan for drinking during an activity based on your own fluid losses and sweat rates.
•    Make sure you take regular breaks to hydrate and allow your body to cool off.
•    Wear clothing that permits ventilation and dryness.
•    Monitor your urination rate and colour throughout the day.
•    Perform your activities out of direct sun and preferably in a cool ventilated environment.
•    Using established meal breaks in a workplace setting, especially during longer work shifts (10 to 12 hours), may help replenish fluids and can be important in replacing sodium and other electrolytes.
•    Drink cool water or any cool liquid (except alcoholic beverages) while working at the rate of roughly one cup (250 ml) every 20 minutes.
•    Reduce the amount of salt in your diet – this includes table salt, salty dressings, nuts etc.
•    Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and cook food to conserve flavour (steaming, roasting, BBQ).

[1] www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_water

[2] www. journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/pages/currenttoc.aspx

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Have a great week.

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