Water – The forgotten Macro
Drink up, chug it down, take a swig, bottoms up.
You can go 4 weeks without food, but barely 4 days without water. It is absolutely essential to consume enough quality water for your body to function properly. 60% of the human body is made up of water.
The old standard of 2 litres of water per day has been debunked. It turns out we need much more water and the latest research shows to stay effectively hydrated you should consume as a minimum 1litre per 25kgs of body weight. So effectively a 100kg man would need at least 4 litres of water. This would increase dramatically depending on climate, activity levels etc.
The benefits of consuming water and having a properly hydrated body are:
· It lubricates your joints
· It forms saliva and mucus
· It delivers oxygen throughout the body
· It boosts skin health and complexion
· It cushions major organs such as the brain, spinal cord and sensitive tissues
· It regulates body temperature
· It aids digestion
· It helps to flush bodily waste
· It helps maintain blood pressure
· It makes vital vitamins and nutrients accessible
· It boosts performance
· It assists with weight loss
· It reduces the effects of a hangover
For optimal health, you should be drinking purified water. There are multiple reasons for this but the bottom line if you are drinking chlorinated water you will be doing significant damage to your gut bacteria which can create a whole world of its own challenges.
The consequences of dehydration are as follows
· 2% loss in water content can cause you to lose brain alertness and to feel fatigued
· 2%-5% considered mild dehydration
· 6%-10% moderate dehydration and cause for immediate concern
· 11% - 15% Hospitalisation and intravenous likely
· Beyond 15% can end in death
If optimal health is a desire of you or for someone you care about - do yourself a favour and complete a food diary for a minimum of 7 days. I recommend the MyFitnessPal app which has a great tool you could use. It will make you aware of your current macro levels and where you may need to make changes.
Just think of it like a nutritional budget, no different to what you do when you are looking to move forward with your finances, becoming aware is the first step.
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