Most of us know that drinking water is important for staying in good shape. However, I know a lot of people that worry about drinking too much water and eliminating excess natural salt from their body when they have to rush to the washroom every 30 minutes.
Now it is possible to drink too much water, if you consume gallons per day and cut all the salt out of your diet, though this is not a likely situation for most people. All things considered then, what exactly is the right amount of water, how do we keep our electrolyte levels balanced in the process and what are the benefits of all this? Here are a few answers:
The following formula is intended to show how many 8oz glasses of water are needed to ensure the body is optimally hydrated:
Current Weight (in lbs) X 0.66oz = Number of Ounces Daily
Divide Daily Ounces by 8 = Number of 8oz Glasses of Water Needed A Day
Add one more 8oz glass of water for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage consumed.
Example: I weigh 200lbs. The following would be my daily water consumption needs:
200lbs X 0.66oz = 132oz salt tablets
132oz divided by 8oz = 16.5 cups of water a day
I have two cups of coffee a day; therefore my daily water needs must increase by the same
amount. The total number of 8oz glasses I should consume is 18.5.
Increase your water intake gradually, by adding a couple of cups a day, until you are at your target level. This will reduce the need for frequent urination, as the kidneys will have time to adjust.
Fruit juices and other sweetened drinks do not count as water sources in this formula.
o Without adequate hydration your body will not effectively metabolize or absorb food nutrients. Water is what carries the majority of food-based nutrients into the blood stream.
o Optimal physical and mental processes are impaired due to lack of oxygen when the body is in any state of dehydration. This is to say that water tends to be the delivery system for oxygen carried in the blood stream. When hydration is not at its peak the body will have a decreased capacity for oxygen transport, resulting in diminished performance.
o Optimal muscle recovery is impaired due to hydration levels that are below the ideal level. Protein synthesis resulting in post activity muscle repair and growth is impaired by the oxygen and nutrients lacking during a state of diminished hydration.
o If you dehydrate a muscle by as little as 3%, you can cause a loss in contractile strength of about 10%, not to mention an 8% loss in speed.