A lot of you are going to be coming to me and saying "well im going to start my new year resolution to loose 10lbs in 10 days by detoxing". First of all 10lbs in 10 days that is an annoying topic that if is advertised i will rip apart. Lastly, detoxing because you have induldged and quite rightly so, you have enjoyed and let go of yourself which is wicked. Now you want to flush out all these toxins with a quick fix flush that involves you drinking loads of water and for most of you this will have been the most water you have drank all year....why? What this article is going to discuss is the benefits of keeping yourself well hydrated and why it is crucial to also. You shouldn't leave it to just one time in the year that you drink your 3 litres of water a day, make it a habit to do it on all 365 days of the year.
Water is the most crucial part of anyones diet, given that 60% of our body is water it really should not be ignored. Also, for the fact it contains electrolytes and minerals, including sodium, chloride, magnesium, potasium, fluoride and calcium. Therefore, water provides us with a lot of the neccessary vitamins and minerals we need every day in order to live our HEALTHY BALANCED lifestyles.
The detox portion of water is where by it acts like a transportation system. Water takes everything (nutrients, oxygen, vitamins and minerals) to where they are required. Also, water (the transporter) takes waste products to the excretory organs where these waste products are got rid of. Furthermore, water, if you are looking at your detox, water is almost like a peace keeper. Water is the environment in which every single chemical reaction that occurs in the body takes place. The water content of each individual cell and indeed the whole body needs to be kept constant (Keeping the peace) between very narrow limits so that metabolism or any other function in the body remains efficient. In table 1 you can see the AVERAGE requirements for someone who doesn't do exercise. in order for our body to be kept constant we need to be consuming a minimum of 2.5 litres a day 365 days a year and thats if your not exercising. If you are exercising you will need to be consuming close to the 5 litre mark due to the loss of water weight and having to factor in exercise. if not enough water is consumed then you will become dehydrated which leads into the next area of discussion.
|Daily Water Output|
Table 1. Total water expended in an average day and the different areas and how much water they require. Based upon someone who has done no exercise in normal temperature and humidity.
So, now we understand that water in reality is really crucial for us to maintain our body and bodily functions. However, at some point we all will/have experienced dehydration. This next section will discuss dehydration and elaborate more on why we should not be neglecting our water intake. Dehydration is basically a decrease of water within the body, and we as humans will become aware of this quickly as our bodies are always assessing our fluid balance and adjusting both intake and output to maintain total body water at an optimal level. If we look at dehydration from a performance perspective, a loss of 2% of body weight as water will seriously compromise performance, and a loss of 5% can be fatal! Water losses such as these will slow down your metabolism and therefore energy generation so that muscles will feel tired. Another result of such dramatic dehydration is blood pressure will drop and induce a lack of blood flow to the brain resulting in poor concentration and tiredness. So now we can start to really get an idea of how important WATER is and we should not just think ooooo 10 day detox, dont wind me up! If you still are not convinced on the HUGE benefits of water then take a look at these effects of DEHYDRATION.
EFFECTS OF DEHYDRATION
- GASTROINTESTINAL STRESS
- HEART RATE
- CORE TEMPERATURE AT SWEATING BEGINS
- CORE TEMPERATURE AT WHICH BLOOD FLOW INCREASES TO THE SKIN
- CORE TEMPERATURE AT A GIVEN EXERCISE INTENSITY
- MUSCLE GLYCOGEN USE
- CENTRAL BLOOD VOLUME
- STROKE VOLUME
- CARDIAC OUTPUT
- SWEAT RATE AT A GIVEN CORE TEMPERATURE
- MAXIMAL SWEAT RATE
- INSUFFICIENT KIDNEY FUNCTION
- SUB-OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE
Furthermore, as a result of excessive water loss and electrolyte losses impair heat tolerance and exercise performance and can lead to severe dysfunction in the form of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Dehydration can be caused also through use of diurectics such as Alcohol, caffeine and many other soft drinks that contain caffeine. These products (diurectics) accelerates dehydration rather than rehydration. This dehydration of the body can lead to the paradox which is water retention. The kidneys regulate acid base balance by secretion into the tubules and reabsorption of bicarbonate. A decrease in body water and increase in plasma osmolality stimulates ADH (Antidiurectic hormone) secretion. It is this process that causes water retention and that bloated look you will experience. This is because the water is returned to the body fluids and plasma osmotic pressure is decreased to normal levels, thus causing this retention effect.
Maintaining Healthy Digestive Function
Fluid is natures flusher. Fluid speeds up gut function and the bodies ability to get rid of waste products, maintain an effective and efficient METABOLISM. Water held in the digestive tract increasing bulk, thus stimulating the muscles of the tract so they retain their health and tone. This is what prevents illnesses such as constipation, haemorrhoids and more severe bowel problems such as bowel cancer. Yes water can prevent bowel cancer!
In conclusion, water is not only important for getting rid of these toxins that we have accumulated over the period of excess but is important for the body to be kept at a constant. Also, water is crucial for weight management not because it aids gut function, but helps maintain our metabolism. As previously discussed when we become dehydrated or the consumption of products that do not rehydrate us, slow our metabolism down. This in turn effects our muscular function and alterness which makes us less likely to exercise simply because of our lack of energy through feeling lethargic. In retrospect, if you are completing a detox which involves you consuming 2.5+litres of water continue it, drinking water is more vital for YOUR health than you think.