Water is essential for human being. It makes up 60 to 70 % of the human body by weight.
For an adult, the daily water consumption is 1 1/2 liters. For a child (1-8 years old), the water consumption should be between 0,9 and 1,2 liters per day. It is important to note that the risk of dehydration is higher for children and elderly. Therefore, we must encourage them to drink water throughout the entire day.
In hot weather
In times of extreme heat, it is recommanded to drink twice the daily water consumption requirements. In fact, during these times, a significant amout of water contained in the body evaporates because we sweat more. Consequently, we need to offset that loss by increasing our water intake.
It is important to note that for a child, a water loss equal to10% of body weight can be fatal as it may lead to heat stroke or a decrease in blood volume.
Here are the common signs of dehydration :
- Infrequent urination
- Dark urination
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Dry lips
- Dry mouth and throat
- Sunken eyes
- Muscle weakness or cramping
- Heart palpitations
When you workout, the sweat process makes you lose additionnal water. You must stay well-hydrated by drinking water during your entire training. More over, when you adequately consume water, cardiovascular function is optimised and performance is maximized.
The human body can absorb 1 liter per hour. During training, it is very likely that the amount of evaporated water is greater than one liter. It is therefore important to plan your water consumption. You should drink water before your training and a small amount of water every 15 to 20 minutes as you exercise.
Hydration is different for athletes who trains more than an hour.
Why? Because human sweat is composed of water and mineral salt. Having said that, in addition to the need to hydrate the muscles and body, you need to compensate the loss of sodium and carbohydrates.
The best drink to consume in this case should contain a concentration of between 0.5 g and 0.7 g sodium and 4% to 8% carbohydrate (see the nutritional values on the content label).
Also, keep in mind that water is essential to a healthy diet. Adequate water consumption also promotes weight loss. Drinking water before a meal may cause you to consume on average 75 fewer calories (from a study by Dr. Brenda Davy).