Water is the most important substance on Earth. When we drink it, our body becomes hydrated. Water is needed every day as part of the six nutrients. Hydration is something that not many people understand. We need to know how hydration works, what’s good and bad, and the recommendation that is good for physical activity or lifestyle. We will also discuss the difference between water and other beverage like sports drink and see which is better.
General Rule of Thumb:
It is easy to know that drinking water is what keeps you going along with carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Your body functions properly because drinking water is a nutrient that is necessary to have for every day.
For those who do not know what hydration means, the term defined by Cambridge dictionary “The process of making your body absorb water or other liquid.”
Hydration mainly depends on many factors concerning exercise. Factors include health, exercise intensity, clothing, climatic condition, and duration of the exercise.
In general, people need to drink more water than expected in order to stay hydrated. It is better to replace drinks like alcohol, soda, and juices with water. There are many benefits as to why water is the best option for health and fitness. According to Healthline article “7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water”, benefits include maximizing physical performance, better energy level, and brain function, prevent or treat headaches, may relieve constipation, treat kidney stone, prevent hangovers, and assist weight loss. More benefits of drinking water stated in the book “The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth” by Jonny Bowden include keeping skin healthy and glowing, protect your heart through hydration, and it keeps us alive to absorb nutrients and vitamins and flush away toxins and waste through the liver and kidney.
Here are some tips on how to drink enough water for exercise or lifestyle:
- Drink water if you’re feeling thirsty
Some signs to look out for when dealing with the feeling of thirst is if your lips feel dry, urine color is dark or experiencing headaches. If you experience these either signs or symptoms, then you need to increase water intake and drink water immediately. Always check your urine color to make sure you hydrate.
- Drink water in the morning instead of coffee
Everybody loves to drink coffee. There is a debate about whether or not drinking coffee is good for exercise or okay for hydration. The answer is it depends on how much you drink coffee. If you drink coffee regularly without too much sugar, then you can hydrate from drinking coffee. My urine color did turn into light color instead of dark color. This is because your body is used to taking in coffee intake that you can drink it and hydrate for exercise or lifestyle. It can be possible to hydrate soda if your body is used to it and convert it into hydration. If you want to look into more about coffee and hydration then check out the article from webmd.com titled “What Counts as Water? How To Stay Hydrated”
To continue the topic, drinking water in the morning gives you good benefits. The benefits include weight loss, purifying colon with nutrient absorption, increase the production of blood and muscle cells, glowing skin, and balance lymph system for body fluid balance. Consider replacing coffee with water for 2 weeks and see if it works for you.
- Drink water before, during, and after exercise
This is an ideal fact to consider. Drink 8oz 30 min before exercise or drink 16oz 60 min before exercise. You can drink water during the workout. However, this is applicable to those that workout for more than 1 hour. After the exercise, it is said to drink one and a half times the fluid you lost while working out. This is necessary because you continue to lose fluid even after you stop exercising.
- Drink enough water to prevent overhydration
This is a simple way of saying drink water to hydrate throughout the day. Sadly, there are cases where people over hydrate and cause problems. If you ever have unsettling feeling in your stomach because you hear and feel water floating in your stomach, then you know what I’m talking about. However, drinking too much water results in scary problems. You can experience confusion, vomiting, nausea, seizure, coma, and even death. A good way to prevent overhydration is to look at your urine color. Normal urine color is light yellow. Clear color is overhydration. Drink at least 8 cups of water and measure fluid intake.
- Drink water while eating lunch or dinner
You notice whenever you sit at a fancy restaurant or a sit-in, water is a popular choice. It is most likely that water is free and you have to pay for other drinks like soda, tea, lemonade, and alcohol. It is still important to drink water and make it part of your nutrition even outside of the home.
Eight glass a day revealed:
It is been said that if you drink eight glass a day, then you do not need to worry about hydration or body fluid need. But can that be true? A book titled “The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth” by Jonny Bowden discusses the eight glass a day rule. Bowden concluded that there is no scientific confirmation that this saying is true. However, he did respond by saying that the more water you drink, the more fluid you get to benefit for the body. Water runs your body. Although the eight glass a day does not have conclusive confirmation, it is fair to say that it can still apply to you.
Water vs Sports Drink:
This is a debate on which is better for you in hydration and athletic performance. Here are some advantages that sports drinks have over water according to ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer 5th edition. Studies have shown that 25% of adults drink more sports drink than water while the children drink sports drink by 90% than water. Sports drink has carbohydrates which help to avoid fatigue and poor performance. Lastly, sports drink contains sodium and that helps to maintain blood volume to maintain sweat rates and performance. Yet, sports drink does contain sugar and it can be bad having too much sugar in your system. In conclusion, there is no clear winner. Water or sports drink depends on your preference, hydration need, and athletic performance.
Can you hydrate with other types of beverage?:
One of my professor at Montgomery College discusses us about other beverages that can hydrate you. It turns out you can hydrate by drinking coffee, tea, and other types of drink. This is because if you drink this regularly, your body gets used to it and eventually cause your pee to become clear. It is okay to drink coffee or tea for hydration if you drink it regularly. In the past, I have experienced this before. I used to drink Starbucks Frappuccino every day and when I pee, I do see the urine color becoming light. My urine color was lighter when I drink an energy drink. So it may be a possibility but try it for yourself and see if there are results or not.
Water is the essence of planet Earth. Water is the reason why we are alive and our body becomes functional. Always be careful with dehydration and overhydration. Drink as much water as you can and stay hydrated throughout the day. Have a nice sip of water and enjoy it.
Leech, J. (2017, June 4). 7 Health Benefits of Water. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water
Battista, R., Mayol, M., Hargens, T., & Everett, K. L. (2018). ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
Bowden, J. (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods On Earth. Fair Winds Press, a member of Quayside Publishing Group