By Melissa Thomas and Chad Yonkus
Hydration is the backbone of life. We can go many days without food, but only a few without water. Let’s put this in perspective. When you drink water you are serving many of your bodies functions. Water lands in the stomach and will first be absorbed into the body here. Water that is not absorbed will move on to the small intestine, the small intestine absorbs a large amount of water due to its length (approx. 20 feet). Then it flows to the large intestine. Here it helps to soften food and aid in digestion. After the body has absorbed water through the stomach, small and large intestines it flows through the cells and the body to continue on its supporting journey.
It helps the Kidneys detoxify the body, this is where you will be indicated whether you are taking in enough water with yellow or clear urine. This is important information to pay attention to! Water also carries oxygen through the body, which is extremely important for athletes especially.
We rely on cell hydration and minerals for proper brain health and function. Studies have shown that dehydration can lead to short term memory impairment and cognitive processing issues.
However, as human moving bodies hydration means much more to us. Our body needs water for cellular and tissue hydration. Our tissues rely on being supple, moist and pliable to move with one another. Fascia is a very vast network of omnidirectional connective tissue that will harden and stiffen as it becomes dehydrated, thus it will cease to move. Fascia connects to muscles and skin on many layers and will also impair the ability of these tissues to interact with one another in a mobile way.
Imagine this: two sheets of Saran wrap held together with a few drops of water in between them. If you start moving them back and forth, they will have lubrication and tolerance for the mobility. Once the water dries and the sheets become dry themselves, they adhere to one another. Your tissues are not so different.
Water helps our muscles contract correctly, our skin detoxify and regulate heat, and our organs properly function for our body. Water also helps us excrete waste. Our fecal matter is 70% water. Constipation is a clear sign of possible dehydration. If you want to move better as a human being, recover better as an athlete, and feel better as a functioning human water is a large component to this goal.
A formula we use is two fold. A water formula for your bodyweight, coupled with water for your exercise level.
1/2 your body weight in ounces = x x + the duration of exercise in minutes/30 minutes x 12 oz = your daily suggested water intake.
A 100 lb person exercises for 60 minutes
100/2 = 50oz 60 min/30 min = 2 x 12 (oz) = 24 24oz + 50oz = 74oz at a minimum of water per day.
Water is life. Without it, we will not live long. Without much of it we will not live fully or in a healthy way. Drink water until your urine is clear.
1/2 bodyweight in oz. + (exercise duration/30 min) x 12oz = Target amountDrink 12-18oz in the morning on an empty stomachDrink filtered and purified water Avoid excessive coffee, alcohol and soda consumptionAvoid reverse osmosis and distilled water (no mineral content is detrimental)Drink before you are thirsty
We hope this gives you a general guide to figure out how much water is adequate for your body and energy output.