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Water as a sports drink

As 75% of your total body mass, water is essentially for our body. So can water also act as a sports drink?

It's importance is easy to guage on hot days or when you are sweating heavily, but how much water should you drink for optimum health? And how much water do you need to drink when slimming? In determining how much water is enough, the first thing to take into account how much water is lost during a day through natural processes.

You lose an average of 2.5 litres of water a day through going to the loo and sweating. If you don't drink at least this much over the course of the day, you risk becoming dehydrated, and your bodily processes will begin to shut down.

This is bad news for slimmers, because the first process to slow down is often the metabolism. The metabolism is a biomechanical process that breaks down the food that you eat and changes it into energy. The amount of energy present in a food is what is meant when we talk about how many calories it contains. Water is essential to the chemical reactions of the metabolism, so if you don't drink enough water, the body can't burn calories.

Another bodily process, which doesn't work properly when you're dehydrated, is your digestive and elimination tract. If the body isn't properly digesting food, you won't get the vitamins and minerals needed and the body will send signals, which result in cravings for food containing those minerals. This means we'll consume more calories. Dehydration also makes you feel "hungrier" because your body sends out the same signals to prompt you to drink as it does when it prompts you to eat. Drinking water will stop these signals, and make you feel full.

It's recommended by The British Dietic Association that you drink roughly 5 pints of fluids a day, which can include fruit juices and weak coffee or tea. Alcohol doesn't count towards your fluid intake because it's a diuretic, meaning it causes you to become dehydrated. A key indication that you're getting the recommended amount of fluids is that your urine should be very pale or clear in colour, as well as odourless.



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