is a wonderful performance enhancer. When a star U Conn basketball player took the advice of his sports nutritionist Nancy Rodriguez, RD and started drinking enough to consistently void a light-colored urine, he was amazed at how much better he felt all day.
Unfortunately, too many athletes overlook the power of this essential nutrient. Perhaps it’s your turn to give water a try? This article offers droplets of information to enhance your water I.Q., optimize your water balance, and help you feel and perform better.
More: Which Is Best - Water or Sports Drink?
1. You don’t have to drink plain water to hydrate.
All fluids count, as do foods that have high water content. For example:
- Oatmeal is 84 percent water.
- Low-fat milk is 90 percent water.
- Coffee is 99.5 percent water.
- Lettuce is 96 percent water.
- Tomato is 95 percent water.
- Broccoli is 89 percent water.
- Low-fat vanilla yogurt is 79 percent water.
- Ice cream is 60 percent water.
2. You cannot function without water.
Your body cannot survive without sufficient water, as noted by the fact that athletes die from dehydration. Water is the solvent for your biochemical reactions.
3. You need water for digestion.
Water is required to moisten food (saliva), digest food (gastric secretions), transport nutrients to and from cells (blood), discard waste (urine), and dissipate heat (sweat). Water is a major component of the muscles and organs; about 60 percent of a male’s body weight and 50 percent of a woman’s body weight is water.
More: 5 Digestion Tips for Athletes
4. Your body parts have different water contents.
Water constantly moves through your cells. About 4 percent to 10 percent of your body-water gets replaced every day with “fresh” water. For example:
- Blood is approximately 93 percent water.
- Muscle is about 73 percent water.
- Body fat is about 10 percent water.
5. Bioelectrical impedance (BIA) methods of measuring body fat actually measure body water.
This formula estimates the ratio of water to muscle and fat. Hence, if you use a Tanita Scale or Omron device, be sure to maintain adequate hydration. If you are dehydrated, you'll end up with an inaccurate (higher) estimate of body fat.
More: Understand Your BMI and Body Fat Percentage
6. Your body produces 8 to 16 oz. (250 to 500 ml) water per day.
This occurs during normal metabolic processes. During a marathon, a runner’s muscles can produce that much water over two to three hours. When muscles burn glycogen, they simultaneously release about 2.5 units water for every 1 unit of muscle glycogen; this helps protect against dehydration.