What's up with water? A quick list about this liquid gold.
If you have been to a class here at Crossfit Renew you have probably heard a coach say: “Alright guys grab your water as you walk a cool down lap.” Most of us do this out of routine; but do you know the actual importance of that water?
A fun fact you have probably heard since childhood; about 75% of your body’s weight consists of water. This water is stored mostly in our cells, blood vessels and the spaces between our cells. We know our body needs this water to keep it functioning properly, but here is a couple of examples of what exactly water does for your body:
Keeps joints lubricated: cartilage, which is found in the joints, is made up of 80% water. The more hydrated we are, the better our joints will feel.
Forms saliva and mucus: Saliva helps us digest our food properly and keeps our mouth, nose, and eyes moist (sorry).
Keeps skin healthy: Water allows our skin to stay healthy and hydrated -- boosting elasticity and thwarting premature wrinkling.
Regulates body temperature: Our water is stored in the middle layers of the skin and comes to surface levels when our body heats up (also known as: sweat). When there is a lack of water to sweat, heat storage will increase and physical exertion gets more difficult.
Boosts performance/recovery: Our body uses water to help keep muscles functioning. When dehydrated we fatigue faster, and it takes way longer to recover post-workout!
From a fitness perspective, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should start drinking fluids two hours before you actually exercise. This allows for the body to store the necessary water to keep muscles and joints functioning properly, and cues it to excrete the unneeded!
A good time: drink water at the same rate in which you are losing it through sweat. (Which brings us back to our first line… grab your water and rehydrate on your cool down.)
And last but not least, with all the talk of the importance of water, it is also important to know the signs of dehydration. First, obviously, if you’re thirsty, your body is already in need of water. Second, and this is pretty common knowledge, when the body is dehydrated, it tries to save water by decreasing the output of urine and sweat. You may also notice that your urine is more yellow and concentrated than if it were diluted and full of water. Third, you’ll experience more physical issues as a result of dehydration, like headaches, nausea, cramps, joint stiffness, and dry, cracking, or brittle hair, skin, and/or nails.
All this to say: drink up, buttercups.
Want more? Here's a water cheat sheet from our pals at Healthy Steps Nutrition: