Our bodies need water for nearly all of its functions. Water helps digest food, transports nutrients to and from cells, discards waste, dissipates heat in the form of sweat, lubricates joints and acts as a shock absorber.
Water naturally suppresses our appetites and helps the body metabolize stored fat. Studies have shown that a decrease in water can cause fat deposits to increase while increasing water intake can reduce them. Drinking water is also the best treatment for fluid retention.
Water makes up about 50%-60% of an adult’s body weight. The amount of water we need is enormous compared to other nutrients. It is essential to drink enough water during the day to maintain your body functions and prevent dehydration. What is the right amount? There is much controversy on how much we need. Although there is no scientific evidence to support the 8 glasses per day rule, it is a good estimate of need. Another way to determine need is for every calorie expended during the day, drink 1.0 to 1.5 ml of water. This means if you expend 2000 calories per day you should drink anywhere from 60 to 90 ounces of water.
Just as important is to replace the water lost during exercise. To figure out how much water you are losing to sweat, weigh yourself with little or no clothing before and after an hour of hard exercise without drinking any fluids during the workout. A one-pound drop in weight would equal 16 ounces of sweat. So drink accordingly during your workouts to prevent water loss.
We often underestimate the importance of water. A person can survive for long periods of time without food, but not without sufficient water. Hydrate adequately to keep your body functioning properly and to perform at your best during your workouts to maximize your results.