Water and Exercising Body
Water had greater effect on athletic performance than any other nutrient. Water is the only nutrient that is lost during exercise in amounts several times greater than amounts lost from non-exercising individuals.
The threshold for the induction of thirst occurs at a point where a person is already dehydrated to a level of 0.8-2% loss of body weight.
We all know water consumption is one of the most crucial and important part of our daily lives.
Knowing the importance of water let us now see the functions of water in an exercising individual:
- The most important role water plays is that it acts as a coolant for the working muscles.
- The working muscles generate heat which when dissipated helps maintain normal body temperature.
- Sweat releases this heat and cools the body.
- Most of the heat generated by exercising muscles is transferred to the blood circulating through the body and increases the core temperature.
- The amount of heat produced during exercise, even in physically fit individuals is enough to raise core temperatures by 1 degree C every 5-8 minutes.
- Without enough effective means to eliminate this heat, moderate intensity exercise could raise body temperatures to lethal levels in 15-30 minutes.
Water is the main component of blood and therefore a vehicle for nutrients to enter and exit the cells.
Now after reading so much about how water helps the exercising body let us get a clear picture as to what does the loss of water do to the body.
- Plasma volume decreases by 2.5%
- Muscle water decreases by 1%
- Rectal temperature increases by 0.4-0.5 degree C.
Athletes need enough water to maintain the body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature and to keep itself cool. It is very essential to keep one hydrated and to dissipate the heat from the body as it may cause further complications.