Water is essential for all energy production in the body. Water is also used for temperature regulation and waste elimination and is essential to cell processes. An inadequate supply of water can result in up to a
30% reduction in energy. Between 50% and 70% of the bodyweight is water. Insufficient water in the body results in a decrease in blood volume thereby reducing the overall oxygen transportability of the blood to properly supply the muscles during exercise. Since blood is used to regulate body temperature, inadequate cooling of the body occurs. The heart rate increases as the cardiovascular system are stressed and overheating occurs leading to possible heat stroke or heat exhaustion. We can survive without other nutrients for several weeks. However, we can only survive without water for about one week. Water is used to emulsify solutions within the body and transport them to the various tissues including the transport of waste byproducts. (WHAT ARE NUTRITION)
Thirst is not an accurate measure of the body’s water requirement. Age and environment alter the thirst mechanism. Therefore, a quantitative schedule must be utilized to adequately hydrate the body. Two hours prior to exercising in a hot environment, the participant should consume 2-3 cups of water and another 1-2 cups about 15 minutes before exercising. During exercise, about 4 ounces of water should be consumed every 15 minutes to replace water lost through sweat and maintain blood volume. As a guide for each pound of body weight lost through sweating while exercising, drink two 8oz. glasses of water. A loss of only two-percent of body weight through sweating can bring on the onset of dehydration. Adults should drink about 2 1/2 quarts of water per day. (WHAT ARE NUTRITION)
Early signs of dehydration include dizziness, fatigue, headache, and loss of appetite. Advanced dehydration is manifested by a rapid pulse, shortness of breath, deep yellow urine, blurred vision, and hearing loss.
Coldwater is absorbed into the body from the stomach faster than warm water. Recent studies suggest that drinks containing up to 10% sugar are almost as readily absorbed from the stomach. These sugary drinks have been shown to improve endurance in events lasting 2 to 3 hours. However, for fat burning purposes, consumption of sugary drinks will provide carbohydrate energy to the exercising muscles and possibly stave off fat metabolization for use as energy.
Therefore, if your intent is a performance, then consume sports drinks. However, if the purpose of the exercise session is to burn fat, then drink water only. The glycogen stores in the muscles will run out in about 20 minutes and the body will be forced to metabolize stored fat for continued energy. (WHAT ARE NUTRITION)
Vitamins are organic compounds not manufactured by the body other than proteins, carbohydrates, and fats that are required for growth, maintenance, and repair. Vitamins require no digestion and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. The thirteen vitamins identified are divided into two groups, fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins, which include A, D, E, and K are stored in the liver and in body fat. Megadoses of fat-soluble vitamins can produce a toxic effect on the liver and can accumulate in the tissues. Symptoms of toxicity are bone and joint pain, blurred vision, dry skin, and hair and weight loss. The body does not store water-soluble vitamins. The kidneys excrete excess or Megadoses of these vitamins. However, toxicity has been reported with A, niacin, C, D, and B6. (WHAT IS NUTRITION)
Minerals, in contrast to vitamins, are inorganic. Minerals also require no digestion. Some minerals are stored in the liver. It is important not to consume Megadoses of minerals on a regular basis above those amounts recommended.
Minerals are divided into two groups, major and trace minerals. Major minerals are those that are required by the body in quantities greater than 100 mg per day and include Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Chloride, and Sodium. Trace minerals are those that are required by the body in quantities of less than 100 mg per day. Trace minerals are Iron, Copper, Zinc, Iodine, and Selenium. (WHAT IS NUTRITION)
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