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On the Coast Magazine

Hydrate for Success

04/29/2015 10:22PM ● Published by Paul Hunter

 How do you picture your muscles?  Supple steak or beef jerky?  Water plays a vital role in our health and daily functioning.  Our skin, muscles, brain and other organs all need proper hydration for optimal functioning.  

 

As we go through our daily routines, we experience stressors.  Things that don’t go our way, a schedule crammed with activities we sometimes deem unconquerable, traffic that refuses to get out of our way, even reasons to celebrate act as stressors on our systems.  The brain is 85% water.  How we handle these stressors is partially and very importantly related to how well we hydrate.

 

Need better athletic performance?  Wow!  Water is a vital factor in your performance and has been shown to be a key predictor in athletic outcomes.  Check out some of the results of a study using IronMan Triathlon athletes as subjects and the Tanita Scale company using one of their products that measures hydration levels:

 

The average hydration level of men who were able to finish the triathlon was 60%. The average hydration level of women who finished the triathlon was 55.7%. Of the 2,093 male participants who had a pre‐competition hydration level ≥60%, 1,945 (93%) were able to finish the race and had an average finish time of 12.76 hours. 1,860 of the 2,106 (88%) male participants with a pre‐competition hydration level < 60% and ≥55% finished the race with an average time of 13.82 hours. Only 153 out of 227 (67%) of the male participants with a pre‐competition hydration level < 55% were able to finish the race, and those who did finish had an average finish time of 14.58 hours.

 

MALE

FINISHERS

HYDRATION %

% FINISH

AVG. TIME (HRS.)

≥60%

93%

12.76

55‐59%

88%

13.82

50‐54%

67%

14.58

 

Of the 747 female participants who had a pre‐competition hydration level ≥ 55%, 691 (93%) were able to finish the race and had an average finish time of 13.41 hours. 447 of the 499 (90%) female participants with a pre‐competition hydration level 55% and ≥ 50% finished the race with an average time of 14.37 hours. Only 45 out of 68 (66%) of the female participants with a pre‐competition hydration level 50% were able to finish the race, and those who did finish had an average time of 15.22 hours.

 

FEMALE

FINISHERS

HYDRATION %

% FINISH

AVG. TIME (HRS.)

≥55%

93%

13.41

50‐54%

90%

14.37

45‐49%

66%

15.22

 

Drinking water also helps prevent muscle cramping and lubricates joints in the body.  When you're well hydrated, you can exercise longer and stronger without "hitting the wall."  Performing resistance exercise in a dehydrated state may lead to fewer gains in terms of muscle development due to higher levels of stress hormones cortisol and noradrenaline and lower levels of testosterone. Another problem with dehydration is that it will generally lead to individuals being able to do less work in a given session, further limiting the benefits to be had from the exercise.

 

Feeling like you continue to experience the afternoon slumps?  Keeping your water intake up helps maintain energy levels.  Why?  Water supports the blood in transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body so it can perform properly.

 

If all of that was not enough, how about staying regular with water.  What?  Along with fiber, water is essential for good digestion.  Water helps dissolve waste particles and pass them smoothly through your digestive tract.  If you're dehydrated, your body absorbs all the water, leaving your bowel motions dry and more difficult to pass thus decreasing your body’s ability to rid itself of harmful toxins.

 

Are you drinking enough water?  Generally, nutritionists recommend drinking at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day.  You may need more water if you exercise or sweat heavily.  You may need less water if you drink other beverages often.

 

For many, water is an elusive, easy-to-forget asset to our daily lives.  Considering it assists with energy production, utilization of oxygen and vital nutrients, elimination of waste, skin quality and provides many other benefits, why would we forget it?  It could be the thing that is holding you back from huge success on the athletic field or in the board room.

 

Make it a Great Day!

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