How important is hydration?

How important is hydration?

Yes, probably you've heard that drinking water is important! However, do you really know: how important is hydration? Moreover, what are the consequences of dehydration and other foods that are a source of water?


Importance of hydration


Water, being an indispensable and vital liquid for our health, especially for survival, is the most abundant substance in the human body, and even containing no calories, without it our body could not continue to function, explains nutritionist Vanessa Grohskopf.


To get an idea, hydration with water is enough to:


- Control body temperature;

- Increase blood flow;

- Avoid excessive HR increase (heart rate);

- Avoid cramps;

- Makes the skin soft and healthy;

- Avoid kidney diseases, among other functions.


How much water to drink?


Vanessa explains that, in general, an individual's water needs can be estimated based on metabolized energy and surface or body weight.


According to the nutritionist, it is recommended daily intake by adults of at least 1,5L to 3L of pure water. "That's not counting the consumption of natural juices, teas and coffee to maintain the body's balance. It is good to remember that health professionals can help in the most accurate calculation in these cases".


She also points out that establishing the exact daily requirement for water consumption is difficult because this necessity depends on metabolic rates, energy expenditure of the organism, water elimination and environmental conditions.


Exercises and water


"During a physical activity, we lose an average of 1 to 2 liters of fluid per hour of exercise, that is, we need to hydrate more in periods of exercise," she explains. In addition, when we feel thirsty we are already in the process of hypo hydration. Therefore, we should not be thirst to hydrate ourselves, she warns.


Otherwise, the most recommended form of hydration is to drink 15 fl oz to 20 fl oz of liquid two hours before the start of training, and during the sport practice ingest 3,3 fl oz of cold water every 20 minutes.


"However, excess is always harmful and may spoil your performance and even cause discomfort, such as hyper hydration, which can lead to a decrease of sodium levels and lead to severe headaches, nausea and vomiting".


Warning of dehydration


"Dehydration happens when more water is lost than it is consumed. Even a small imbalance may cause serious problems, since water is essential for human life”, says Vanessa. Dehydration may cause cramps, muscle fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, visual and hearing changes, and even elevated heart rate.


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