Drink Up!

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WATER FACTS:

75% of the U. S. Population is chronically dehydrated

 37% of the U.S. population mistakes thirst for hunger

98% of dieters use water to quell hunger pangs.

The body is 80% water.

You need to drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water in order to maintain proper hydration for the body to function at its best.

Water plays a role in EVERY bodily function.

Water removes harmful toxins from the body.

Dehydration slows down the body’s metabolism.

Dehydration causes daytime fatigue.

Water regulates the body’s temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, cushions joints, protects organs and tissues, and removes waste products from the tissues.

A 2% decrease in hydration can cause fuzzy short term memory, trouble with basic math problems and difficulty focusing.  Hmm, could be that I wasn’t bad at math, I was just dehydrated!

The following is an article reported in the Washington Post and reprinted in the Omaha World Herald Sunday edition on February 20, 2005:

If it’s cold outside, you still need to rehydrate

 Ever wonder why an outdoor workout in the cold weather doesn’t leave you gasping for the water bottle nearly as much as a similar summer exertion? Your body loses just as much fluid when it’s cold outside as it does in the heat.  You sweat just as much in the cold, but the dry air laps up the moisture before it can pool on your skin.

The only difference is that you feel less thirsty in the cold.

Why? When your body senses cold air, blood vessels constrict, pushing blood to the body’s core to preserve heat, explained Robert Kenefick, professor of exercise science at the University of New Hampshire.

“If your body kept that heat near the skin when there was a big temperature differential between the air and your body, you would lose heat quickly to the environment,” said Kenefick.

The blood constriction inadvertently fools your thirst-regulating mechanism into thinking that the body has ample fluids.  Your hypothalamus, sensing all that blood in your belly, thinks you have plenty of juice.

Kenefick and colleagues studied 17 men ages 20-37, who were tested after exercising at an ambient temperature of 39 degrees and after working out at 81 degrees.  All were also tested at rest.

When exposed to the cold, all participants exhibited less thirst than they did at the warmer temperatures.  This occurred whether or not they were exercising and whether or not they were previously dehydrated.

“The thirst mechanism in humans is fairly poor compared to other animals,” Kenefick said.  “If you have a dehydrated dog or a sheep, for example, and you put water in front of that animal, it will drink back exactly what it lost in water weight.  People will not rehydrate to sufficient amounts.”

He cites research that shows people who had lost 2 percent of their body weight through dehydration before exercise,  experienced elevated heart rates, high body temperatures and a decrease in strength and endurance.

 

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