This article will help the reader understand more about the human body, how hydration impacts on muscle repair and weight loss along with a better understanding of what your daily intake of water should be based on your individual lifestyle choices. This article will not be based on hearsay, we will use scientific journals and government health advice to help get to the bottom of these issues in order to create some positive conclusions in order to better advance peoples’ knowledge regarding good hydration and what that means to their bodies and how exercise influences this equilibrium. Let us look at the details further and get to the bottom of this issue.
The Basics: Sweating and the basics of hydration
You already know this but just in case you don’t! If you undertake a strenuous cardiovascular or weight intensive workout you’ll find after a period of time that your body starts to sweat. This is the skin and body’s way of cooling you down during strenuous activity. However, you’re losing the water stored up in your body and you need to re-hydrate before, during and after otherwise you risk becoming severely dehydrated and this can cause short and long-term problems relating to your physical and mental health. So let’s look at the basics and find out what we can do to better hydrate and protect our bodies?
Why is Hydration so crucial to the human body?
Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical rules that relate, in essence, to the movement of the entire structure of the human body. Water plays a big part in the operation of the human body – especially in the context of movement and sports. Many people know that water is a large constituent part of the human body and plays a crucial role in physiological development and maintenance.
“water is the main component of cells and tissues, a major element of body fluid compartments, and represents 75% and 60% (from birth and in adults, respectively) of a body’s composition”
Palma, Buhan, Tavares and Rodrigues (2015: p413).
How much water does the human body need when exercising?
Two litres, six pints or whenever you feel thirsty… There are a myriad of different answers. However, what’s the right answer? It’s important to state that when exercising – and it doesn’t matter whether you are a world-class athlete, a weekend warrior or the occasional jogger – it is of vital importance that people keep hydrated during periods of exercise. According to the NHS, “there is currently no agreement about how much water we should drink each day. However, a good rule of thumb for a sedentary day is 2 litres” (NHS, 2015). So, the more active you are, the more water you drink above your 2 litre average minimum limit.
Water helps to fix your body before, during and after exercise!
Did you know that water can help biomechanically repair tissue before, during and after a workout? Every time you work out your muscle tissue will tear – don’t worry its microscopic and this is how you build muscle. By drinking the right amount of water, your body can synthesize protein which is muscle repair food and the genesis of muscle regrowth. Therefore, if the cells in the human body do not have enough water-based hydration then the delivery of proteins are deferred until hydration occurs. It is important to remember that dehydration can cause muscle depletion as dehydrated bodies will break down muscle tissue which is counterproductive towards the goal of muscle growth (Cleary et al, 2005: p288-290).
It is of crucial importance that people keep hydrated and this is especially pertinent if you exercise regularly. The body needs to repair muscle after a workout and good hydration can help to generate synthesis proteins that can help start the process of restoration. There is no single ‘rule of thumb’ regarding hydration levels. The NHS believes that people living a sedentary lifestyle should consume 2 litres of water. Therefore, anyone undertaking regular exercise should consume more than 2 litres otherwise they will be impeding muscle repair. Dehydration can cause massive health issues and can be detrimental to weight loss and muscle repair. So remember to keep hydrated!
- Palma, L; Bujan, M.J.; Tavares, L; Rodrigues, L.M.; (2015), ‘Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics’, Clinical, Cosmetic & Investigational Dermatology, 3rd August 2015, Available here
- NHS, (2015), ‘Why hydration is important to your health’, Available here
- Clearly, M.A.; Sweeney, L.A.; Kendrick, Z.V.; Sitler, M.R.; (2005), ‘Dehydration and Symptoms of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness in Hyperthermic Males’, Available here