How much is recommended to drink on a daily basis?
There are many different opinions in the science field how much water you should drink every day. Most health authorities have now agreed that women should drink about 2.5 litres per day and adult males 3.5 litres per day. There are many different factors deciding if you would need more however: hot day, a head cold, stress or increased activity that day (how about an EMS workout equivalent to 5 hours of weights in the gym?
- Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day
- Have a look at the colour of your urine. Is it too dark? Try to start drinking more.
- Do you feel thirsty? Don’t ignore this and start drinking water. Thirst is actually your body telling you that it is dehydrating. Let thirst guide you, but even better is to try to avoid the thirsty feeling.
Why do I need to drink so much water and is it really that bad not to drink that much?
To prevent dehydration. During the day, but also when you are sleeping, you are always losing water from your body. Examples of this are sweating and urine. Evens light dehydration can affect your performance (mentally and physically) negatively. It can also cause your mood to change and confusion. More long term risks for your health are constipation, kidney stones and impact the life span of your kidneys. More benefits of a well hydrated body are: lubricated and cushioned joints, healthy spine and skin, protecting internal tissues and helping you eliminate waste out of your body. And it helps with weight loss! It is important that you try to spread the amount of water you need over the day so your body is hydrated and working in optimum mode all day.
What are electrolytes and why are they important?
Electrolytes are body salts. There are 7 important electrolytes in the body and they all serve their own purpose in the body, helping the cells of all tissues functioning well. When we work out we lose sweat that contain the electrolytes that are so important for our body. We can also use those electrolytes to be able to perform certain functions. For instance, we need magnesium to help a muscle contract. So here is how electrolytes work in a nutshell: a high salt content inside a cell will actually draw pure water into the cell to dilute this salt and keep that cell perfectly hydrated and functioning. And it works the other way around as well. It is a beautifully and finely balanced system designed to keep the entire body (each and every cell of all organs) working like clockwork. The only ingredients we need to keep this system going are water and electrolytes, and that is why it is so important to be aware of sufficient water intake during your day.
Why are you especially motivating me to drink enough fluids on the day of my EMS training?
EMS training is an intense workout. Depending on how much you and your PT decide to put into the 20 minute session, you can have the equivalent of up to 6 hours of weighted work out. Often times at Fitin20, at request of the trainees, we also incorporate some cardio in the workout too, making it even more intense.
- Your muscles need a good hydrated body to help recover from the work out. You will feel less sore from the workout in days to come.
- You need to replenish the body salts that you have lost when you were working out.
- Your muscles will release an enzyme into the blood called Creatine Kinase. This enzyme is harmless but it gets filtered out of the blood by your kidneys. Why not give them a hand by making sure your body is properly hydrated on the day of your EMS workout.
Do you have any tips how I can increase my water intake?
Try to bring a water bottle everywhere you go. There are some great apps on your phone that help you remind you to drink water during the day and track how much you have drank. They also give tips how to increase your water intake. Bored with water? Try to flavour it with some lemon or watermelon. You can also drink other fluids like milk or fruit juices (try to stay away from soda drinks). Try to increase your fluid intake by eating fruit and veg with a high water content, like watermelon, cucumber or peppers. Have you been working out? Try an electrolyte drink to retain the water that you are drinking.
Can you drink too much?
Yes! Drinking too much water can dilute the salt in your blood and lead to hyponatremia (water intoxication). This can lead to confusion, vomiting, cramps, weakness and muscle spasms. This condition is extremely uncommon as it very difficult to drink that amount of water, but there are people that ended up in hospital from drinking too much water. If you need to drink more because you are dehydrated from your workout, consider drinking an electrolyte drink instead.
Entertain me!! Give me some fun facts!
Freshwater makes up a very small fraction of all water on the planet. While nearly 70 percent of the world is covered by water, only 2.5 percent of it is fresh. The rest is saline and ocean-based. Even then, just 1 percent of our freshwater is easily accessible, with much of it trapped in glaciers and snowfields. Did you know that coffee and alcohol actually dehydrate you? To compensate for this you can drink two glasses of water extra per day. About 6,800 gallons (25,700 litres) of water is required to grow a day’s food for a family of four. A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water. Roughly 70 percent of an adult’s body is made up of water. At birth, water accounts for approximately 80 percent of an infant’s body weight.