Sports Medicine & Nutrition: Water
Water is the most abundant substance in your body. All your cell are soaked in water. Water makes up 55% to 75% of your total body weight. The food you eat contains about 70% water. Although you can survive for weeks without food, you can only last a few days without water. If you happen to be in a hot environment, you might be limited to only a few hours.
Drinking five glasses of water a day can lower the risk of deadly heart disease. Researchers found that people who drank five eight-ounce glasses of water daily were about half as likely to die of coronary heart disease as those who drank two glasses or less.
This amazing substance is involved in every bodily function known to man. For example blood is comprised of 90% water. And we all know that our blood is responsible for transporting nutrients and energy to working muscles and then transporting metabolic waste away from tissues.
A reduction in water means more concentrated blood. A loss of only 5% body water results in a 10% loss of water from your blood. The ticker the blood, the more susceptible your body is to clotting, and the less efficient it becomes at delivering oxygen to your brain and muscles. It also becomes harder to transport substances to and from your various tissues.
Temperature regulation is controlled by water. If you do not have sufficient amounts of water in your body, cooling cannot take place. Water lubricates joints and helps your digestive system. Water is also responsible for the actions involved in energy production. If your kidneys do not have adequate water available to them, your liver is forced to detoxify toxins. And when your liver is called upon to do this, other functions performed by your liver are less effective, including the metabolism of food products.
Water helps you recover from your workouts, aids in fat-based fueling of muscles and provides for storage of water inside your cells. When you become dehydrated, all of these functions become less effective and your performance levels lower.
Water contributes to energy storage by being stored alongside glycogen. If you do not drink enough water to facilitate this, extra glucose remains in your bloodstream until it reaches your liver. Then the glucose is stored as fat. You can actually get fatter when you do not consume adequate amounts of water.
If you are dieting, drink plenty of water so your liver can effectively metabolize body fat. Active people need more water than inactive people do. A reduction in as little 4% to 5% body water can result in a drop in physical performance as great as 20% to 30%. It is recommended that you consume plenty of water on a daily basis, twenty minutes before any athletic event and following high carbohydrate meals. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. By the time your body reaches that point, you are already deficient in it.
Orthopedic Corner | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201 Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119