Point #2 – Hydration
At 7 Point Nutrition we center our Nutrition Programs around the individual, using their unique situation while bringing balance to what we believe are the most important 7 Points of Health. It is important to develop each one of these seven areas in order to achieve and maintain optimal health:
7) Support System
We have always believed in having an overall balance in all aspects of life. We are continuing our explanation of these points with our 2nd Point of healthy living being hydration.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of proper hydration:
- Promotes cardiovascular health by increasing blood volume
- Regulates body temperature
- Lubricates joints
- Removes waste from the body
- Helps with digestion
- Increases performance
- Improves sleep
- Improves mood
- Improves skin tone
The list could go on and on. The first thing that most of us think about when it comes to hydration is water. Water is extremely important, and getting enough is a vital part of proper hydration, but that is just a small part of the equation.
It is important that you have sodium, minerals, and electrolytes with your food and water. Salting your food will help. As discussed in previous posts, normal sodium intake is 3-6 grams per day, and athletes may need more. Water flushes out toxins, but it also flushes out good things like electrolytes as well.
Dr. Sandra Godek, PhD in Exercise physiology, director of the HEAT institute and specialist in thermoregulation and hydration in athletes has given some great guidelines for hydration.
1) Eight glasses of water a day is a myth. Drink when you’re thirsty. Thirst begins when the concentration of blood has risen by less than two percent, and most experts define dehydration as beginning when the concentration has risen by at least five percent. So thirst is a good sign to know to drink.
2) Lack of water is rarely the cause of performance loss due to dehydration, low sodium and potassium are usually the cause. Many sports drinks are too diluted to provide adequate sodium. It’s best to eat a meal with sodium and carbs, which transports sodium, prior to exercise.
3) It is possible to drink too much water. Peeing clear is not a good thing.
Many people look at their urine color, and think if it is clear, that means they are adequately hydrated. If it is completely clear, that means that you don’t have adequate electrolytes in your system. Too dark is not a good thing either. We’re looking for lemonade, not apple juice. Your urine should be light yellow.
In closing, to sum up, I think Dr. Godek said it well in a recent article, “consider this- sleep when you are tired, eat when you are hungry, urinate when your bladder is full and drink when you are thirsty.”
A few easy points to remember: drink when you’re thirsty, get adequate electrolytes, especially sodium prior to exercise and pay attention to urine color, it should be light yellow. Do these things and you’ll maintain proper hydration.
Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, 7 Point Nutrition Coach 435-621-5465
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7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program.