Understanding that we humans may survive 4-6 weeks without food but that same person can only survive a week or less without water is absolutely amazing. When you add the variable of intense athletic competition, it’s even more crucial to keep your body fueled with it’s #1 necessity.
Recent research and understanding of effective water hydration has changed and the USDA has changed their position accordingly. A new “Hydration Pyramid” has been released, and we wanted to share it with our TSG athletes. Read below, from 1-5 the levels of effective hydration.
A healthy person can survive 4-6 weeks without food, but the same healthy person typically can only survive a week or less without water.
An average 175 pound man requires about 2.5 quarts/liters of water per day to replace the fluids that the body loses during the day. Dehydration can take place within hours in hot weather or during physically stressful situations conditions. Mental capacity drops by as much as 10% daily if you don’t replenish your fluids.
Cravings for snacks in the evening is typically your body telling you it is thirsty rather than hungry, but your brain doesn’t know the difference. If you find yourself hungry in the evening, try drinking water instead of snacking. You will be surprised how often your hunger will often go away. If you want to lose weight, try drinking a glass of water half an hour before meals and you will likely experience pleasing results.
Headaches or light-headedness are often a sign you are dehydrated. Instead of reaching for an aspirin, try having a glass of water first.
It is essential to replace the 2.5 quarts/liters of water per day that your body uses. Since you must consume water every day to stay alive, let’s take a look at what is the best way to take in your daily requirement of water.
The Hydration Pyramid
When the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) recently changed their recommendation of what they believe is the best diet for Americans, they also replaced their Food Pyramid illustration a new illustration called My Food Plate. It seems that they changed the illustration because the Pyramid was just too bloody difficult for many people to understand. I have created a simple illustration of a pyramid to help people understand that all water is not the same. You have choices when it comes to the liquids you drink and they can have a profound effect on your health.
Level 1 – Replace the Water Your Body Loses:
Your body uses approximately 80 ounces of water per day. You need to replace the water or you will become dehydrated. Dehydration is a major cause of aging and the source of many health problems.
We consume water in many forms, including the food that we eat. Yes, there is water in your food. Typically, most people consume about half a quart/liter of water each day from their food.
We also drink water every time we drink sodas, juices, milk, coffee, and even alcohol. They are not the best choices, but they do count as there is a very high content of water in most drinks. For example, I call my wife’s coffee “stained water”.
Level 2 – Drink Water and Only Water
Most of us drink water in various forms, but the only form of water that your body requires is….water. In fact, any other form of liquid that you put into your body just makes your body work harder to get rid of everything else.
Many people claim that they don’t like the taste of water, so they drink sodas, or juices. The sugar in those drinks makes them tasty, but sodas and juices are the leading cause of obesity and diabetes in our society.
Many parents give their young children fruit juices to drink believing that they are good for them. What they are really doing is creating an unnatural desire for sugar that can last a lifetime.
Kick the sugar habit. Don’t buy Coke or Pepsi or fill your pantry with sugar based drinks. The new sports drink craze is a multibillion dollar industry, but all you need is water and a proper diet. Just drink water!
Level 3 – Drink Filtered Water
Municipalities tell you that your tap water is safe…..but it is only safe to a certain degree. All contaminants eventually end up in our water supply. The Safe Water Act only requires municipalities to remove about 100 of the 60,000 known contaminants found in our world.
Municipalities put chlorine or chloramines in our water supply as a form of decontamination. About 2/3 of our population has poisonous fluoride in its water supply. You should be removing them from your water before you drink the water. Filters cost money, but it is better to buy a filter than be a filter.
Level 4 – Drink Alkaline Water
Diseases thrive in an acidic body and can’t survive in an alkaline environment. Unfortunately, for everyone but the most diligent vegetarians, our body become more and more acidic as we age because of the abundance of processed/acid food that we eat and the sugary/acidic beverages we drink.
Drinking alkaline water will help combat acidosis by gradually shifting the pH of our bodies towards and alkaline state, with emphasis on the gradual part of the equation. A once or twice per year short blast of stronger alkaline water (as in water with a pH of 9.5) is good for detoxifying your body. But, for the long haul, a more gentle approach to balancing your internal pH is to drink slightly alkaline water and consume a less acidic diet.
To improve your health or maintain good health, drinking water with a pH in the range of 8.0 to 9.0 (depending on the acidity of your diet) is a great place to start. Society is slowly waking up to the fact that the goal for achieving maximum health is to help your body by consuming what nature intended instead of processed foods and beverages.
Level 5 – Drink Hydrogen Rich Water
Our bodies require oxygen to survive, which is why we have lungs. While oxygen is essential, the 2% of the oxygen that we don’t get used up becomes free oxygen, commonly known as free radicals. The best way to combat free oxygen is to introduce it to free hydrogen. The reason free hydrogen is the ultimate antioxidant is due to the fact that oxygen is attracted to hydrogen and the resulting molecule that is formed is water….harmless water that makes up 70% of our body.
Free hydrogen provides another incredibly important function in your body that nobody seems to talk about. Hydrogen assists in the production of energy in the mitochondria of our cells. That is why so many people experience more energy and why athletes are turning to ionized water.
I hope this discussion and the Hydration Pyramid are easy to understand. You can click here so see an easy to read pdf file of the Hydrogen Pyramid