The saying, ‘Water is Life!’ underlines the necessity of water for the survival of all organisms on earth. In human bodies, it constitutes the majority of our cells. Water consumption ensures that our bodies are healthy and function as required. Water is found both in our cells and out of our cells. It also assists in digestion and absorption of the food we eat.
Water is the most important nutrient during exercise for a variety of reasons. When exercising you lose body water through sweating and this lost water needs to be constantly replenished, the difficulty sometimes is keeping track of the water intake, this is why a handy motivational bottle is good to have. The following are the reasons why water is important during exercise;
1. Reduces dehydration
During exercise, you are likely to be losing a lot of water from sweating. Too much dehydration is hazardous and has been known to cause death in intensive exercises such as running. Skipping water intake during exercise can lead to muscle fatigue, loss of coordination, extreme exhaustion and inability to control body temperature. Dehydration will negatively impact your performance during exercise and limits your ability to perform mentally and physically. To avoid these negative consequences always make sure you are constantly taking water when exercising. Do not wait until you are too thirsty.
2. Hydration helps physical performance
If your aim is to have a productive exercise session where your body functions at one hundred per cent you need to maintain a healthy level of hydration. Cells use an aqueous environment to carry out their functions such as communication, energy production and other specialized functions. Neurons, for instance, use water for electrical signalling. Being adequately dehydrated will lead to better cell function and nerve activity and hence you will be able to achieve body control and coordination during the exercise session. Avoiding dehydration will lead to better physical and mental performance during exercise.
3. Replenishes body nutrients
During periods of physical exertion, water is not the only nutrient that you lose. Sweat also contains potassium and sodium. The body can lose up to a third of its water within an hour of exercise. Drinking water with mineral supplementation will help in the quick recovery of nutrients lost through sweating. Water will aid in the quick transportation of these nutrients. Sodium enhanced water can help to provide vital fluids to keep you hydrated during exercise.
4. Regulates blood pressure
The cardiovascular system is also heavily reliant on water. It allows for the fluidity of blood and blood vessels which directly affect blood pressure. If you are dehydrated your heart will pump harder due to vascular resistance that is being caused by the thick blood. Also, water helps in the removal of nitrogenous waste from the body through urine. Nitrogenous waste can become too toxic for the body if not removed. The water in the blood facilitates the filtering of this waste. It is thus important to drink water during exercise to ensure your blood pressure is stable and to allow for the continued filtering of nitrogenous waste from your body.
5. Lubricates joints
For those engaging in an exercise involving the movement of joints, water is important. It helps in the lubrication of joints preventing serious joint injuries.
In conclusion, water is very important in exercise as it replaces precious fluids being lost from the body and supports proper mental and physical functions by maintaining intracellular and extracellular water levels in cells.
Due to the variability in sweat rates, hydration levels and water losses in individuals it is difficult to give specific guidelines on the exact amount of water that one should consume during exercise. The amount of water to consume will depend on the intensity and duration of the exercises one is involved in. The easiest way to avoid dehydration during exercise is by deliberate hydration during exercise. Constantly take water even if you are not thirsty.