The Importance of Hydration
by News Canada July 13, 2008
Polar Bear Health & Water—would like to provide a few tips on how proper hydration helps your body and your system perform better.
~ The Canadian Food Guide suggests we drink water regularly. Water not only quenches thirst, it helps our body stay hydrated without adding any excess calories to our daily diet.
The role of Water in your body
~ All parts of our bodies contain water. It makes up 85 per cent of your brain, 83 per cent of your blood, 70 per cent of your muscles, even 22 per cent of your bones and 2 per cent of your tooth enamel. All that liquid is there for a reason. It’s used in every system of your body and, for example, helps flush toxins out of organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides moisture for ear, nose and throat tissues.
~ We urinate about 1.5 litres per day, and lose another litre of our body’s water through sweating and breathing. It just makes sense that we need to replenish all the liquid lost throughout the day by drinking.
How much Water do we need?
~ Every day, you need to drink water to rehydrate your body. The average male needs just shy of 3 litres of liquid a day, while the average female needs just over 2 litres.
~ But there are reasons you may need to vary how much water you consume daily. Water helps you regulate your body temperature, so you’ll need extra if you have a fever. Certain medications can dehydrate you. So does being physically active or being out in the sun (in both cases you sweat more and lose water by evaporation through the skin).
The risks of dehydration
~ We can live a month without food, but only a week without water. When you feel thirsty, that’s a sign that you’re already slightly dehydrated.
~ Losing as little as one to two per cent in body weight in water can leave you feeling tired and will impact physical performance in sporting activities, making it difficult for you to both concentrate and regulate your body temperature. Mild dehydration is not serious and can be easily remedied by simply having a drink. However, losing a lot of water (about 10% of your body weight) can be life-threatening, particularly for the very young.
A few tips on how to avoid dehydration:
· Foresee a regular hydric inflow;
· Consume water during and in between meals;
· Keep a bottle of Distilled or Purified Water within reach—wherever you’re going;
· Eat a sufficient quantity of fruits and vegetables;
· Drink plenty of water before, during and after any physical activity or training;
· Pay close attention to any signs of dehydration, especially in extreme conditions (heat, humidity, etc.).
~ Fresh purified water is a valuable resource that must be carefully managed.
~ There’s a concern that when consumers buy bottled water that is from far away, more greenhouse gases are produced in transporting it.
~ Canadians can do the right thing environmentally—Consider buying locally sourced and produced bottled water to help reduce these emissions. Or consider drinking purified made at home.
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