rockford illinois entertainment guide
Date: 07/29/2003
Spotlight Fitness - Water-our most basic nutrient.
by Tamara Scott-Bogard
Most people are not aware of how much water they consume in a day. Most often, it's not enough. Historically it has been said that a person should consume 64 oz. of fluid per day. Actual water consumption needs vary from person to person and may come from non-caffeinated beverages as well as food with high water content. This does not include water needed while exercising or being active.

One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling tired. Most often with a quick drink we will get back to feeling quite energetic. If you go too far past the point of being tired and develop a thirst, you are already dehydrated. At that point it could take you 12-24 hours to get back to a hydrated state, which leaves you tired, feeling badly and wondering why.

Staying hydrated is of great importance to how the body functions. Think of your circulatory system and your blood, as your body's transit system. Numerous substances must be delivered and picked up via the blood. If you are dehydrated your blood volume is low, therefore your transit system suffers. Needed functions are not carried out as well. One of the best ways to assess your hydration level is the color of your urine. Clear to light yellow is considered hydrated. The darker yellow urine becomes, the more serious your dehydration.

So how does this apply to the touring or performing musician? Let's put together a scenario. You play a gig one night, maybe you drink a beer or two, no water consumption. You wake up the next day, dehydrated, sore and with no energy. You may or may not drink some water. You have another gig the next night. If you are dehydrated you may not be able to "catch up" on your hydration level in time for the show. So you play. You aren't able to get into the groove like usual. Your quickness isn't there. You may have a headache. By this, you have further dehydrated yourself. If conditions are hot and humid, you could suffer from heat exhaustion.

How can all of this be avoided? A few simple measures can be taken that will keep you in the clear. Be sure to drink water before, during and after every performance using your energy level as a guideline as to when to drink (water). If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation if at all. Most importantly, find a few key times during the day that you make it a habit to consume some water. Trigger point times work well. Connect your water drinking with something else that you know you do on a normal basis.

Staying hydrated can keep you on top of your game. Brain function, muscle reaction time, alertness, and aerobic endurance will be at their peak if you keep properly hydrated. Remember, if you are thirsty chances are you are already dehydrated. That's when most people go for a beer? Think about that.
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