Hi, this is Dr. Steve Gangemi, and in this series I want to talk about food groups that heal and I want to talk about water, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Water is obviously something that our body needs to survive throughout the day. Our body is about 70% water, and unfortunately most people consider other fluid substances to be their water intake for the day. They use coffees, they use teas, they use unfortunately a lot of sodas, a lot of fruit juice type drinks, energy drinks, and all these others substances that we have available to us, and that’s what people drink mostly throughout the day and maybe drinking very little if any water and they consider their fluid intake to sustain them throughout the day.
But actually with water, we want to consider the real thing as long as it’s clean water. Unfortunately a lot of tap water today is loaded with chlorine and fluoride because the municipal society for cities have to add that in there part of government standards in cleaning the water. Ideally you don’t want those things in the water as long as your water is clean and you can drink it without getting sick. But if you have to filter your water, that’s fine. If you have to use bottled water, if that’s your best option, that’s fine, too. But think about water from its actual source and nothing added, no flavors, no electrolytes added. Nothing needs to be added to your water. When you’re getting water you just need get the actual stuff. You don’t need extra minerals and things to help you enjoy its taste. Then the question many people have is, “How much water do you actually need to get throughout the day?” Should you drink that classic eight glasses of eight ounces to get through the day. That’s our standards set by the same people who tell us that the four food groups are the way to eat, which obviously it isn’t. We’ll talk about that in other videos.
It depends on your body type, it depends on your sweat rate, it depends on your activity level, it depends on the environment here. In Thailand right now, we obviously need a lot of water to get us through the day. Sweating more than we would be if we’re in a colder region, working out a lot here, you’re going to need more water. Obviously people have their own sweat rates, some people just sweat like crazy, some people don’t sweat at all. That’s going to have an effect on how much water you need. Also, carbohydrates, your stored glycogen levels, that helps you hold on to water as well as salt. That’s why if you eat something salty like pretzels or potato chips, not that they’re the best foods, but if you eat salty foods, you tend to want to…it helps you absorb water, I should say. That’s why you feel thirsty if you eat a bunch of those substances because there’s a balance between salt with water as well as glycogen levels and how much glycogen level, in other words stored sugar, you can hold onto with the amount of water you’re taking in to.
Especially with athletes, the amount of water you intake and the balance between sugars, stored sugars in your body, and salt is very important because these are things that you use up a lot as you’re active throughout the day, when you sweat and when you pee, you’re going to lose some salt naturally. You’re going to lose some sugar, you’re going to burn sugar as you’re running hard, you’re climbing, you’re doing a lot of strength and conditioning type of activities, or powerful burst. So what happens is if you’re just drinking water by itself throughout the day and not eating enough carbohydrates and not taking in some salt, you’ll feel like you always just got to the bathroom. The water just goes right through you and you might feel like you’re hydrated and you’re actually not. It’s tough to use the pee test, which people say if your urine is very clear and colorless and just basically comes out of your body the way it went in very water-like, then you’re very well hydrated.
It’s a pretty good rule, but it’s not 100% accurate. If you have food can change the color of your urine, vitamins and minerals that you’re taking, again, we talked about caffeine in another video. If you’re using a lot of caffeine you’re going to be peeing more than you should. You’re going to be more likely to become dehydrated. The amount of salt in your body is going to help you hold onto that water. So if you’re not getting enough salt throughout the day, if you’re not eating enough carbohydrates, we’ll talk about next to sustain you throughout the day then you won’t hang onto this water to keep you hydrated and keep you performing to the best of your ability.
So when you think about water, think about a clean, natural source. Think about getting water from water itself and not from other liquids throughout the day, not that those are necessarily bad but think about actually pure water and consider your activity levels and your environment to let you know how much water you need. If you get to a point where you’re actually becoming thirsty, you probably waited a little bit too long to get that water into you and you need to play a little bit catch up.