Nutritional Facts About Water

It’s a well know fact that hydration is critical to the success for not only the athlete but the population in general.  Water is the lifeblood for all living organisms, and for an athlete you simply cannot perform without having enough fluids in your system.   Similar to the foods you eat, you should also learn the correct nutritional facts about water.

Sadly some people get lured away from drinking water, and instead opt for fancy sports or energy drinks.  While this is mostly due to the effective marketing, the other reason is some people miss-interpret data that is listed on the Nutrition Facts label.  Just because something shows a ‘0’ versus something that shows a number does not make the one with the zero bad for you or lacking in nutrition.  If you’ve ever purchased a bottled water from either a retail store or vending machine you will notice that unlike other Nutritional Fact labels this one shows ‘0’ for every category of the daily recommended nutritional intake.  Just because there are no vitamins like A, B, C, D, E (etc.) in water does not mean that it is bad for you. While some opponents argue against bottled water, the fact it’s conveniently packaged makes it that much easier to consume, which again is critical for competing

While sports and energy drinks can be slightly helpful if used in the right situation, the marketing of them tends to distort reality regarding their nutritional value. For example, sports drinks like Gatorade, PowerAde, etc. are loaded with sugar.  Ironically if you drink too much of it before any work out or event, it can actually aid in dehydration and thus hurt performance. In addition, certain energy drinks can do the same thing if you were to consume too much.  The last thing an athlete is looking for it to have some outside substance influence their performance.

As mentioned earlier water, or hydration, is the lubricant that keeps the body moving and well running.  Depending on a person’s weight and size, the body can actually survive for up to a week without food but when it comes to water the body can only last couple of days.  After that symptoms, of dehydration begin to set in which will force the participant to lose focus in the beginning.  Additional symptoms are: fatigue, weakness, dizziness, dry mouth, headache and an overall sick feeling.

While vitamins, iron, calcium, and other important health elements are not found in water, the fact that it contains zero calories is a tremendous help to any sports person. That means that while performing you can drink pretty much as much water as you can drink because as long as you are active you’re body will be using it for various functions.

Ideally you should continue to urinate during any type of competition.  During longer event it is critical that you continue to urinate because this tells you your body is still functioning properly.  If you lose 2% of your body’s fluid, your ability to compete will drop considerably. If you lose 5% of your body’s fluid, you can find yourself facing heat exhaustion, which is not good.  At this point you are barely moving. If you lose 10% of your body’s fluid, you are at risk for heat stroke and even death through dehydration.  In other words, game over.

Because you are performing your body needs nutrients it obtains from foods to get where they are most needed and fluids are the engine that makes that happen.  Bottom line, even though water does not contain certain nutrients it provides tremendous value in hydrating the body, a transfer agent, as well as keeping it cool.  All of this translates into allow the sportsperson to compete at their best.