The Importance of Hydration

By Ann-Kristin Allen  ::  Photography by Kelsey Grudle

Fitness-and-Hydration-Final-0615

Summer is here and it is time for outdoor activities. As the temperature is rising, so is the importance for hydration.

Most of us are familiar with the phrase “staying hydrated,” but what does that really mean? The average adult loses about ten cups of water daily just by living, breathing, sweating, urinating, etc. You might not be aware that your body, on an average, consists of 55-75 percent of water, depending on how well hydrated you are. That is about 10 to 12 gallons of water. Water makes up about 83 percent of blood, 73 percent of muscles, 25 percent of body fat and 22 percent of bones. Your body has water in every cell, tissue and organ. It helps move nutrients, eliminate waste, regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, moisturize skin and provides many other benefits. We can live a few months without food but we will only last about 10 days without water. Next to the air we breathe, water is the most important element.

Most experts believe the majority of Americans are under hydrated. The most recent recommendation to determine how much daily water is required for each person to maintain normal bodily functions is half of your body weight in ounces of water. As an example, a 200-pound person would be recommended to drink 100 ounces of water per day.

When we add hot, humid temperatures, dehydrating items (like alcohol) and prolonged physical activity, our need for water consumption increases. It is recommended to consume equal amounts of water per alcoholic beverage, and pay close attention to cramps during physical activity and next day soreness due to lack of water consumption. It takes only 30 minutes to get dehydrated in hot, humid weather, so take longer breaks, dress appropriately and shorten workouts or intensity levels.  Please know that lactic acid washes out of the system within an hour of a workout. Sports drinks have a place during prolonged exercises, but always check labels and be aware of how much sugar content there is.

Symptoms of Moderate to Severe Dehydration

• Low blood pressure

• Fainting

• Severe muscles contractions

• A bloated stomach

• Rapid and deep breathing

• Convulsions

• Fast, weak pulse

Cautionary Measures to Ensure Proper Hydration

• Consume half of your body weight in ounces of water.

• Consume 25 percent of your required ounces of water upon rising, 50 percent during the day (during a round of golf, prolonged outdoor activities) and 25 percent in the late afternoon or early evening.

• Replace equal amounts of water if you consume alcoholic beverages.

Keeping track of how much water you consume throughout the day and staying sufficiently hydrated can mean a difference to your back nine of golf, final set of tennis or general well being on a hot day spent outdoors.

Ann-Kristin Allen is the Fitness Director – TPI Certified Fitness Professional Level 3 and Certified Yoga for Golfers Level 2 at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. She can be reached at akallen@cordilleraranch.com.

 

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