Methods to keep yourself hydrated

Published 11:05am Friday, August 10, 2012

Always remember your body can’t tell the difference between what you choose to do, or you have to do. Let me give you an example. Say you were stuck in a  dessert, and couldn’t get water. You’d begin to thirst to death, so your brain would then shut your thirst mechanism down so your body wouldn’t suffer so much. Well when you choose not to drink water, your brain, on some level, doesn’t “know” you’re choosing not to drink, it just knows water isn’t coming through your system. Conversely, when you drink lots of water, your brain tells your body “I can afford to be thirsty, because there’s plenty of water available.
When it comes to the question of how much water one should drink a day, there are no easy answers, because of varying factors like age, health, activity level, and geographic location. One good approach is the 8 x 8 rule. Drink eight 8-ounce glasses a day. I recommend athletes drink two 8-ounce glasses before participating in any sport.
Also, remember muscle is 70 percent – 75 percent water, so if you’re dehydrated, it’s like running on flat tires. In addition to water, you need to replace electrolytes like sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium.
Electrolytes, carry electrical charges through muscles, and without them you could cramp. Remember too, that drinking alcoholic beverages dehydrates you, so choose water or sports beverages instead.
Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 26 years.
He served as strength director for the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, Converse collage equestrian team, water safety consultant to the U.S. Marine Corps, lead trainer to L.H. Fields amodeling agency, and taught four semesters at USC-Union. David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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