This week we’re going to talk all about water!
Prior to last weeks nutrient discussion, we may not have thought of water as a nutrient at all. It’s so simple that we often overlook it. This week we will bring it into the spotlight and learn why water is the most important nutrient in the body.
Let’s get started!
Water makes up about 60% of total human body mass and consuming enough is critical for adequate hydration and overall health.
Water is found in every single tissue in the body. It helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to our cells and transports waste away from cells and out of our body.
Water makes up the bulk of all body fluids, cushioning and lubricating our joints, and absorbing shock to the body.
Water moistens our air pathway for easier breathing, helps regulate our body temperature, improves communication between our cells and maintains their electrical properties.
As athletes, we can understand why all of these things are quite important! Water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the American population, so it’s a great place start when we aren’t feeling 100%.
How much water do we need?
Here’s a quick calculation we can use to find out:
Body Weight (lbs.) / 2 = # of ounces of water to drink per day
Another factor in adequate hydration is the amount of diuretics (coffee, tea, energy drinks, packaged fruit juices, sodas and alcoholic beverages) we consume per day. These increase and encourage urine production, further dehydrating us.
To account for diuretic consumption, simply add 1.5 x the amount (oz.) of daily diuretics to the total we calculated above. The new equation will look like this:
(Oz. diuretics x 1.5) + (Body Weight / 2) = # of ounces of water to drink per day
In upcoming months we will revisit this topic as it relates to nutrient timing and absorption. For now, let’s keep those water bottles coming! To see what optimal water consumption looks like in physical form, check out this week’s video tutorial on adequate hydration!