Friday, August 7, 2009

Hydration: Beating the record Seattle Heat!

New Record!! The temperatures in Seattle have beaten the record from years past and we have all felt the heat! But did you ever think about how much water your body has lost in the past two weeks from hitting your a.m. spin class or the boot camp on the pier? How about the amount of fluids lost walking to lunch with coworkers or swimming with the kiddos? Since water is essential to every cell, tissue, and organ in the body, it is important to understand how much water is lost during the day and how to replenish it before its too late.

Water is the largest component of the human body, accounting for nearly 60% of total body mass. It is important for regulating the body’s temperature, joint function, digestion, and the removal of waste products. And, because water composes more than half of the human body, it is impossible to sustain life for more than a week without it! On a daily basis, the human body loses approximately 2.5 liters through normal activities, sweating, exhalation, and elimination. However, in one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. If there is not enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration.

So grab that water bottle and take a gulp! It is very important to drink before the signs of thirst appear. Thirst is a signal that indicates your body is already on the way to dehydration. Drink before, during, and after your workout to ensure fluid replacement in your body. Water is the best fluid replenisher for most individuals, but if you find yourself to sweat excessively and your sweat contains a lot of sodium (you may see salt rings in your athletic gear) than it is wise to replenish your body with a sports drink that contains needed electrolytes. It is easy to prevent dehydration and replenish your body with refreshing options, so drink up!

Helpful hydration hints:

Before exercise
• Two to three hours before the start of activity or training drink 16 ounces (2 cups) of fluid.

During exercise:
• Drink 8-10 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes of strenuous exercise.

After exercise:
• Drink to replace sweat
• Weigh yourself before and after the activity, for each pound lost, drink 16 ounces of fluid.

Written by,
Jamey Peters
Seattle Athletic Club Northgate
Personal Fitness Trainer

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