Hi. It’s a Wednesday and day for our post on nutrition and fitness. As you may have guessed, we will take a look at water as an essential macronutrient. There is so much said on proteins, carbohydrates, and even energy drinks now days that water seems all forgotten about. There are at least a dozen critical functions water performs in our body.
Here is a list of some of the basic functions and why water should be the cornerstone of every athlete’s diet plan:
1. It helps maintain body temperature.
2. It helps flush out toxins and waste materials from our body.
3. It keeps the body hydrated and moistens tissues of eyes, mouth and nose.
4. It ensures the optimal function of all organs.
5. It maintains the optimum electrolyte level in our body.
6. It helps in energy production.
7. Helps dissolve minerals and nutrients ingested.
8. It carries nutrients and oxygen to cells.
9. It lubricates joints.
10. It regulates blood pressure and blood clotting.
11. It helps fight diseases.
12. Helps you burn fat more easily.
13. It helps boost metabolism marginally.
Let us discuss one area that is of huge interest to the athlete – that of energy production. There are 3 energy pathways in our body. Anaerobic activities (sprinting, weight training, tennis etc) use the Adenosine Triphosphate pathways (ATP). ATP is produced during the flow of water through our cells and helps generate hydroelectric energy. The produced ATP is stored in energy pools and used as chemical energy when required. In the absence of water, there is a non-availability of a proper energy environment.
Studies clearly show that an inadequate supply of water can result in up to 30% reduction of energy. It is also now proved that the purity of water has a direct impact on our power, strength and energy levels. Drinking contaminated water or any water-based drink with chemical additives, results in some of the bodily energy to be diverted towards internal damage control (repair and reducing impact) by the chemicals in it. Pure water is known to speed up metabolism, helping better nutrient absorption and increased energy delivery.