Water, the Ultimate Sport Drink

By Jessica Campbell, MS, FNTP

Water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S.  We are simply not getting enough.  I know, we think our tea, coffee, and juices are made of water.  However, these drinks along with soda, alcohol and sports drinks are diuretics actually making our bodies more dehydrated.  Hunger is also very often confused with thirst and people overeat when they are really just thirsty.  Next time you feel hungry try drinking 8 ounces of water and then see if you feel better.

How much water should I drink?

To measure your optimal water consumption, divide your body weight in half and drink that number in ounces every day.  Now that would be perfect if you did not drink any diuretics, sweat profusely or take prescription medications that also act as diuretics.  If you do choose to enjoy your coffee in the morning, practice cardio for an hour, or take a prescription you need to add to replace the lost water.  A general rule is 1:1; if you drink a 12 ounce coffee, add 12 ounces of water to your daily dose.

Am I dehydrated?

If the body's water content drops by as little as 2%, you will feel fatigue.  If it drops 10%, it can cause serious disease in the body.   Early signs of dehydration include:  fatigue, headaches, cramps, cravings, anxiety, irritability and depression... sound familiar?  Severe signs of dehydration can include heart burn, joint pain, back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, constipation, and colitis.

I urge you not to reach for the drugs which are basically putting a mask on your pain temporarily, and drink more pure filtered water.  Do not waste your money on sugary vitamin waters claiming they are full of healthy electrolytes. Simply add a sprinkle of sea salt to your water for natural electrolytes and an inexpensive sport drink.

Pure water is the ultimate sports drink

If you are working out longer than an hour or sweating profusely, you may meed to supplement your pure water with some carbohydrates.  Here is an easy recipe for a cheap, healthy sports drink for endurance athletes.