Anthony Donskov is the founder of DSC where he serves as the Director of Sport Performance. Donskov holds a Masters Degree in Exercise Science & is the author of Physical Preparation for Ice Hockey.
Water: The Ultimate Beverage
Michelangelo once said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” This quote is relevant in multiple circumstances throughout the training process. Many excellent programs are simple, yet affective, and many diets are simple yet results driven. Why do we always have to make things so difficult? Want an easy way to feel better, perform better, and move better? Ignore the infomercial on TV, return the “supplement of the month” and turn on the tap! That’s right, water is king! Skip the sodas, energy drinks, coffee, tea, and other highly caffeinated beverages, and make sure you’re dinking plenty of water (Ok, I love coffee, but I make sure to drink plenty of water). Here are some interesting facts on hydration from the book entitled “The Body’s Many Cries for Water”.
The Importance of Water in Bodily Function
- The human body is composed of 25% solid matter (solute) and 75% water (solvent).
- It is the solvent-the water content-that regulates all functions of the body. Including the activity of all the solutes (the solids) that are dissolved in it.
- “Water distribution” is the only way that not only an adequate amount of water, but also its transported elements (hormones, chemical messengers and nutrients) first reach the more vital organs.
- Products manufactured in the brain cells are transported on “waterways” to their destination in the nerve endings for use in the transmission of messages.
- Fully, the water volume that is stored in the disc core supports 75% of the weight of the upper part of the body; the fibrous materials around the disc support 25%.
- The 1994 annual report of the beverage industry shows that per-capita consumption of sodas is 49.1 gallons/year.
- Soda, tea, and coffee: These beverages contain water, but they also contain dehydrating agents. They get rid of the water they are dissolved in plus some more water from the reserves of the body.
- Caffeine seems to act in an energy releasing capacity in the body. Excess caffeine will also deplete the ATP-stored energy in the brain and the body.
- Color of Urine: Dark urine means the kidneys are working hard to get rid of toxins in the body in very concentrated urine.
- Joint Health: In a dehydrated cartilage, the rate of abrasive damage is increased. The ration between the rates of regeneration of cartilage cells to their “abrasive peel” is the index of joint efficiency.
Bottom Line…drink water and stay hydrated. “Your body needs an absolute minimum of 6-8, 8-ounce glasses of water/day. The best time to drink water is one glass, 30 min before a meal and 2.5 hours after a meal. Adjusting water intake to mealtimes prevents the blood from becoming concentrated as a result of food intake. When the blood becomes concentrated, it draws water from the cells around it.” We recommend that our athletes drink ½ of their bodyweight in ounces each day to prevent dehydration and maintain appropriate function. How could something so simple, at times, be so difficult to attain? Simplicity at it’s finest.
(1) Batmanghelidj, F., The Body’s Many Cries For Water, Global Health Solutions, 1997.