You may hear your coach tell you to make sure to drink plenty of water after a hard day at the gym, have you ever wondered why that is? We naturally get thirsty after a workout and water is one of the best ways to quench that thirst, but why is that? Why do we need water so much?
First of all, we are made up of about 60-75% water. Every cell in our body has water in it. Every tissue and organ requires water to function properly. Depending on the person, the amount of water needed depends on weight, amount of physical activity, and the climate. As a rule of thumb, dividing your weight by 2 is the number of ounces of water you should drink daily. Water is a huge component in curing pain and helps with digestion, circulation, and mental health.
Water helps rid the body of toxins by flushing out waste produced in the skin and kidneys. It also helps regulate your metabolism. Water carries oxygen, nutrients, and hormones around to parts of the body. Protein and enzymes involved in many bodily processes require water in order to flow properly. It also helps with absorbing vitamins and minerals from foods we eat. Drinking water also helps slow down the rate of emptying the stomach, helping you feel full for longer and reduce cravings. Water in foods we eat also delays the absorption of food, keeping it in the stomach for a longer period of time. It also helps metabolize stored fat, which naturally suppresses the appetite. Water is also used primarily in the metabolic breakdown of proteins as well as carbohydrates. The body uses water to also regulate blood pressure, proper circulation, and healthy blood vessels. Water helps distributes oxygen everywhere in the body while simultaneously collecting carbon dioxide. It helps keep muscles and joints lubricated and functioning properly. Lastly, it’s great for your skin. Water helps circulation preventing sagging skin by plumping up skin cells increasing capillary circulation to the skin, giving your skin a healthy glow.
At the end of the day, water plays a vital role in numerous functions of the human body. As athletes, we must be sure to take care of our bodies in order to live well and as healthy and sustainable lives as we can. I challenge you to try drinking a few more cups of water a day and see if you feel the difference! Your body will thank you!