The Importance of
Staying Hydrated

The Importance of Staying Hydrated

Food, shelter, companionship; all come after water in terms of basic human survival.

man hydrating with water

Water is crucial to human life – only the oxygen we breathe is more important. Food, shelter, companionship; all come after water in terms of basic human survival. The human body is able to go long periods without any food, however only several days without water can pass by before facing fatal consequences. Our body is made up of around 70% water, and because it makes up such a large portion of our bodies, maintaining proper hydration levels is of the utmost importance.

Your body becomes dehydrated simply when you are emitting more water than you are taking in. Once in a state of dehydration, even mildly, the body begins to experience noticeable symptoms. Dehydration is serious and can lead to a potentially life-threatening emergency. As an athlete becomes dehydrated, heart rate increases, blood flow to the skin decreases, and body temperature can rise to dangerous levels.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Dry lips and tongue
  • Sunken eyes
  • Dark urine, or urine with a strong odor
  • Infrequent urination
  • Small volume of urine
  • Apathy or lack of energy
  • Irritability
  • Sudden decline in performance (strength, energy, coordination, decision making, etc.)
  • If you get bored of drinking water during the day, or want to give yourself a strength, endurance and energy boost during your workout, try adding a few scoops of fuel:one BCAA ARMOR to your daily water intake. This will help you stay hydrated and optimize your performance at the same time!

The body relies on water for a number of purposes, including proper brain function, removing toxins and acid from the body, metabolizing fat, regulating body temperature, aiding in food digestion, increasing oxygen to the blood, lubricating joints and transporting nutrients to the cells.

diagram of the digestive system

The Institute of Medicine suggests that males should drink about 13 cups or 3.1 L of water per day and females need around 9 cups or 2.2 L. However this applies to a regular, generally sedentary individual. As an athlete, whether you compete in the Olympics, hit the gym regularly or participate in intermural sports, you may require significantly more than that. Think of this suggested amount as a baseline, and then on days that you are training or competing make sure to take in much more. This will ensure that you replace all lost fluids in order to maintain proper hydration so you can function at your true potential!

Here are some tips on proper hydration:

  • Drink two glasses of cold water upon waking each morning. This will jump start your metabolism and wake you up.
  • Consume fresh fruits and vegetables with high water content.
  • Add fresh lemon juice to water for added flavor and health benefits.
  • Keep a water journal. For one week track the amount of water you consume. It’s likely less than you really need. When you write it down it helps make you aware of what you are missing.
  • Buy a reusable water bottle, and use it throughout the day, refilling when needed. This will make it much easier to keep track of how much water you are consuming daily.
  • Try to consume the majority of your water from the time when you first awaken to the mid-afternoon; you don’t want to be consuming large amounts of water right before you go to sleep as this will cause you to wake up in the middle of the night to pee and disrupt your sleep.
  • If drinking distilled water, make sure to add some unrefined Celtic or Himalayan sea salt, which will replenish any trace minerals that may be flushed out of the body from this type of water.