By PCG Nutritionist Katie Barberi
With summer close upon us its the perfect time to discuss something all of us need to be very conscious of as the weather starts to warm up, WATER. When it comes to drinking water most people aren’t huge fans. With so many other delicious options like juice, soda, coffee, etc. we often forget how important water is for us. Let’s begin with some water basics, that many people may or may not know.
- Water makes up 70% the human body
- Your lungs and muscles are over 70% water while your brain is 83%
Water Is Not ‘One Size Fits All’:
So with these two things in mind one can assume that we need to be drinking a lot of water throughout the day. The general rule that everyone sees is 64 ounces a day, or eight 8oz glasses. These numbers, while correct in most cases, don’t always account for those who workout or do hard strenuous work. So let’s look at some different numbers.
- The more exact equation for daily water intake is 2/3 an ounce of water per pound of body weight. That means that someone who weighs 150lbs needs 100oz of water!
- For every hour of exercise that causes excess sweating you need AT LEAST 1 liter of water or 33oz
Water and Sweat:
Something else to be considered when discussing water is that when we sweat we don’t just sweat pure water. I have never walked in to a gym and said “it smells like water in here”. The smell of your local gym alone can tell you that sweat has much more to it.
- We lose many different electrolytes when we sweat including sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium
- In order to compensate for these loses we should be adding things like drink mixes to the water that we drink, especially during exercise
So what are some good options to replenish our bodies when we lose so much? My number one go to with all of my clients is Scratch Drink mix. They make an awesome mix for exercise and then they also have a day-to-day lemon/lime mix. The awesome thing about their mixes is that they use REAL fruit to make the flavors and REAL cane sugar, so their stuff is much less likely to give you any gastrointestinal distress.
The Truth about Coconut Juice:
Another drink that a lot of people often think is good for replenishing electrolyte loss during exercise is coconut juice. Sadly though that isn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, coconut juice is awesome and delicious but it is more for drinking throughout the day than specifically for exercise. This is because coconut juice doesn’t have the right ratio of sodium to potassium, which is very important for electrolyte rehydration. Coconut juice has significantly too much potassium and very little sodium. So my best advice is save the coconut juice for lunch and stick with exercise specific mixes like Skratch for exercise.