Hydration requires water which is not a macronutrient but, like a macronutrient, you still need a lot of it for a lot of reasons, besides just being hydrated
“Double your water, double your weight loss”? It’s not going to be ounce for ounce, but if you change nothing but focus on drinking more water you will get a health result. Every chemical reaction in the body, including the breakdown of body fat, requires water.
Water does a lot more than just quench your thirst, your body is about 60% water and your muscle mass is about 80% water. Virtually every cell in your body needs this important nutrient. Every chemical reaction in your body requires water. Two important functions that require water is metabolizing fat and providing glycogen (muscle energy to the working muscles), so if you are dehydrated, this becomes very difficult.
Getting enough water is just as important as getting enough protein, as water is required to form muscle glycogen, so a dehydrated exerciser or competitor will find it more difficult to form glycogen (and maintain muscle mass) than the exerciser or the competition who drinks his or her fill of water each day.
How Much Do YOU Need?
The 3 Part Formula
A good formula for calculating how much water YOUR body needs is:
1) Divide your body weight in half and drink that much water daily in ounces.
Ex: 200 lbs. divided by 2 = 100 oz.
2) For every 25 lbs. overweight you are, add 8 oz. of water.
3) Weigh yourself before and after your regular exercise or sporting event. Drink an additional 16 oz. for every lb. you lost while exercising.
Water also helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of — all that metabolized fat had toxins stored in it that must be eliminated.
Without adequate water, waste products just stay in the system.
What About ‘Other’ Drinks?
Any drink that contains artificial chemicals, colors and sweeteners is not seen by the body as water. Unfortunately the unrecognized chemicals get stored in your junk drawers (Fat stores).
For example: In order for your body to use the water in Crystal Light, is has to take the Crystal Light out of the water and store it in the ‘junk drawer’ of the body (fat stores) since it does not know what to do with it.
Better to squeeze some lemon or lime into your drink if you must flavor it as that is seen as a natural food by the body.
How Long Can You Go?
You can survive long periods of time without food, but several days without water can be fatal.
If you’re drinking an adequate amount of water:
You should be going to the bathroom about once an hour
Your urine should be a pale yellow (unless your taking a really good vitamin!)
Hydration and Muscle Mass
In order to maintain muscle mass while reducing your caloric intake, your muscles need to maintain a certain level of glycogen, which can be thought of as stored muscle energy.
Getting enough water is just as important as getting enough protein, as water is required to form muscle glycogen, so a dehydrated exerciser will find it more difficult to form glycogen (and maintain muscle mass) than the exerciser who drinks his or her fill of water each day.
Water is most palatable at a refrigerated temperature and is rapidly assimilated by the intestinal tract when ingested at this temperature.
Use a frosty mug! Add a slice of lemon or lime for taste.
For kids make it special e.g. Princess Crown
Sip it through a straw.
Carry a 32-ounce water bottle in your car. You’ll always have a refreshing supply.
Sports drinks are helpful for competitions or general exercise that require a higher amount of intensity or last longer than an hour. Those who compete or exercise in hot or humid weather and/or wear protective equipment that prevents sweat from evaporating (examples include football and hockey uniforms) would greatly benefit from a sports drink. If you are a heavy sweater or have very salty sweat (you can tell if you have salty sweat if you find your face is gritty with salt after a workout or you can see white salt powder on your hat or clothes after a workout) you need to consider a sports drinks.
Anything generally lasting for an hour or less you are good with just having water.