Old Town Crier

Hydration Explanation

By Ryan Unverzagt

 

This month officially marks the start of the summer season. I hope all of you have cool vacations planned that include lots of physical activities. As the temperatures rise through the summer, it becomes extremely important to monitor when, where and how much exercise you should be doing along with hydrating properly.

 

Did you know that water accounts for more than 60% of the human body’s volume? Water is so vital to life that we can survive only about three days without it depending upon climate conditions. The hotter and more humid the environment, the faster we become dehydrated. It takes as little as a two percent change in body weight to negatively affect exercise performance. For a 150lb person, that equates to only 3lbs!

 

There are many factors that affect your hydration status such as:

 

Dehydration can have several negative effects during exercise such as decreased muscle strength & endurance, coordination, mental acuity, and impaired thermoregulation. One of the most important functions of water within the body is to help regulate body heat. When the body is properly hydrated, exercise will feel easier and you will typically have a lower heart rate at the same intensity than you would if you were in a dehydrated state. This is due to optimal blood volume and cardiac output to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your working muscles.

 

There is no single “Gold Standard” for measuring hydration levels because too many factors play into how your body stores water. However, here are some general exercise and hydration guidelines to follow this summer:

It’s better to have a sports drink (Gatorade, PowerAde, Propel) to replace e