View Full Version : Water

08-04-2005, 07:22 AM
People in general who post their diets are concerned with a number of different factors like protein, their supplements, calories, and fat. Yet it seems like every leaves out the important role of water. I think this is a good read on the topic.

The latest news on water, health and performance.
Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D

Water and Your Muscles

Since muscles are nearly 70 percent water, even a small loss of fluid will affect their function. Muscles are controlled by nerves. The electrical stimulation of nerves and contraction of muscles occurs due to the exchange of electrolytes dissolved in water across the nerve and muscle cell membranes. If you are low on water or electrolytes, muscle strength and control are weakened. A water deficit of just 2 to 4 percent of your body weight can cut your strength-training workout by as much as 21 percent, and your aerobic power by a whopping 48 percent!

If gaining muscle is your goal, then you should care about cell volumization, or the hydration state of your muscle cells. In a well-hydrated muscle cell, protein synthesis is stimulated and protein breakdown is decreased. On the other hand, muscle-cell dehydration promotes protein breakdown and inhibits protein synthesis. Cell volume has also been shown to influence genetic expression, enzyme and hormone activity, and metabolic regulation.

Water and Fat

When your goal is losing body fat, water is your friend. It can help take the edge off hunger so that you eat less, and it has no calories. If you are on a high protein diet, water is required to detoxify ammonia, a by-product of protein energy metabolism. And as you mobilize your stored fatty acids to burn off as energy, you release any fat-soluble toxins that have been benignly stored in your fat cells. The more fluid you drink the more dilute the toxins in your bloodstream, and the more rapidly they exit from your body.

Your Fluid Plan

Contrary to our drive to eat, our drive to drink is not as keen. Our thirst mechanism doesnt kick in until we are already mildly dehydrated. When you âre working out moderately in a mild climate, you are probably losing 1 to 2 quarts (2 to 4 pounds) of fluid per hour through perspiration. That means that a 150 pound person can easily lose 2 percent of their body weight in fluid (3 pounds) within an hour. If exercise is more intense, or the environment is more extreme fluid losses will be greater. You can see how easily you become dehydrated. If you don't replenish your fluid losses during exercise, you will fatigue early and your performance will be diminished. Without fluid replenishment after exercise, your performance on successive days will decay, and your long-term health may be at risk.

Design a fluid plan just like you plan your food: a couple cups when you get up in the morning, a few more mid-morning, a couple at lunch, again in the mid-afternoon and at dinner. That covers your minimum intake. Make sure that these are non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic (since alcohol and caffeine can promote water loss), and make at least 5 of them water. Then add what you need to be well hydrated before, during, and after exercise.

Monitor your hydration status. One of the easiest ways is to check your urine: it should be relatively odorless and no darker colored than straw. Anything more and it is a good sign that you are dehydrated and need to be drinking more.

08-04-2005, 07:31 AM
Symptoms of Dehydration Early Signs


Loss of appetite
Flushed skin
Burning in stomach
Dry mouth
Dry cough
Heat intolerance
Dark urine with a strong odor

Difficulty swallowing
Shriveled skin
Sunken eyes and dim vision
Painful urination
Numb skin
Muscle spasm
Possible Influence of Chronic, Mild Dehydration and Poor Fluid Intake on Human Health and Performance Factors (1,2)

Diminished physical performance
Diminished mental performance
Diminished salivary gland function
Increased risk of kidney stones in susceptible population
Increased risk of urinary tract cancers(3)
Increased risk of colon cancer(3)
Increased risk of breast cancer(3)
Increased risk of childhood obesity
Increased risk of mitral valve prolapse in susceptible population
(1) Reprinted from Kleiner, SM. Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient. J Am Diet Assoc. 1999;99:200-206
(2)Some of these associations need further confirmation.
(3)Specifically associated with water consumption.

Fluid Guidelines

Drink a minimum of 1 quart (4 cups) of fluid for every 1,000 calories you eat every day. Drink at least 5 cups of water every day. Fluids should be cool. For moderate exercise that lasts an hour or less, water is sufficient for replacing lost fluids. If you like flavored drinks better, then use flavored beverages. For intense exercise that lasts less than 1 hour and exercise lasting more than an hour, carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drinks are best. Before exercise: drink 2 cups of fluid 2 hours before exercise. During exercise: drink 4-6 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. After exercise: drink 16-20 ounces (2-2¸ cups) of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.


Please refer to the following review article for a complete list of references:
Kleiner, SM. Water: An essential but overlooked nutrient. J Am Diet Assoc. 1999; 99:200-206.

08-04-2005, 07:33 AM
good post/read...

08-04-2005, 08:00 AM
Nobody "leaves out" the importance of water in their diets, they just dont post their water intake with their food intake as everyone knows to drink a ton of water. At least they better.

08-04-2005, 08:19 AM
good post/read...

Yeah that.

08-04-2005, 08:25 AM
I think people just don't bother to post about their water intake in their journals/diet posts. I doubt that most people here don't realize the importance of water.