Water makes up 65-70% of your body. For babies and young children, this percentage is 80%, and for the elderly, it drops to 50%. Water needs are individual and different from person to person and there is no one-size-fits-all fluid intake plan for all of us, but there are recommendations for fluid intake.
It is important to know that we do not all lose the same amount of fluid and that the loss depends on genetics, gender, age, body weight, outside temperature and humidity, air movement, levels of physical fitness, the intensity of physical activity.
Water is the main component of blood and is responsible for bringing all the nutrients and energy they use to move into our muscles.
Stay Hydrated Before, During, And After Walking
Maybe some beginners think that “just walking” doesn’t require special attention to water intake. The truth is that you should hydrate throughout the day, and drink the last two glasses of water half an hour before walking.
During the activity try to take 120-250 ml every 15-20 minutes to keep your muscles hydrated. When you finish, drink a glass of water to help your body make up for lost fluid by sweating.
If you drink too much water, you risk diluting your blood too much. Then there is hyperhydration, which causes dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. On the other hand, if you drink less fluid, dehydration occurs, which has similar symptoms, and both conditions are extremely dangerous.
It is easy to replenish fluid after walking, but make sure you also take in electrolytes. Electrolytes play an important role in maintaining the body’s balance. They help regulate many processes in the body and enable the normal flow of nerve impulses and contractions of the heart and other muscles.
Electrolytes are easiest to ingest through isotonic sports drinks or isotonic water. This is recommended if the walk lasts more than 1 hour, otherwise you only need plain water or fruit juice diluted with water.
What you need to know is that the moment you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. This means that you do not need to feel thirsty in order not to bring your body into the dehydration phase, while with food it is completely different. You should not eat if you do not feel hungry or do not have time for a meal.
According to the recommendations of the European Food Safety Agency, the recommended daily intake of water for adult men (over 19 years) is 2.5 liters and for women 2.0 liters. At the same time, 20-30% of that amount is usually water that we take in through food, e.i. fruits and vegetables, and 70-80% is the amount that we take in through different types of liquids, which do not necessarily have to be pure water.
The importance of hydration is also shown by the fact that 95% of cramps in athletes and the physically active population are caused by dehydration.
It is always better to take a bottle of water for a walk. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink and avoid any sugary juices.
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