Day: June 9, 2012

Hydration: Beating the record Seattle Heat!

New Record!! The temperatures in Seattle have beaten the record from years past and we have all felt the heat! But did you ever think about how much water your body has lost in the past two weeks from hitting your a.m. spin class or the boot camp on the pier? How about the amount of fluids lost walking to lunch with coworkers or swimming with the kiddos? Since water is essential to every cell, tissue, and organ in the body, it is important to understand how much water is lost during the day and how to replenish it before its too late.

Water is the largest component of the human body, accounting for nearly 60% of total body mass. It is important for regulating the body’s temperature, joint function, digestion, and the removal of waste products. And, because water composes more than half of the human body, it is impossible to sustain life for more than a week without it! On a daily basis, the human body loses approximately 2.5 liters through normal activities, sweating, exhalation, and elimination. However, in one hour of exercise the body can lose more than a quart of water, depending on exercise intensity and air temperature. If there is not enough water for the body to cool itself through perspiration, the body enters a state of dehydration.

So grab that water bottle and take a gulp! It is very important to drink before the signs of thirst appear. Thirst is a signal that indicates your body is already on the way to dehydration. Drink before, during, and after your workout to ensure fluid replacement in your body. Water is the best fluid replenisher for most individuals, but if you find yourself to sweat excessively and your sweat contains a lot of sodium (you may see salt rings in your athletic gear) than it is wise to replenish your body with a sports drink that contains needed electrolytes. It is easy to prevent dehydration and replenish your body with refreshing options, so drink up!

Helpful hydration hints:

Before exercise
• Two to three hours before the start of activity or training drink 16 ounces (2 cups) of fluid.

During exercise:
• Drink 8-10 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes of strenuous exercise.

After exercise:
• Drink to replace sweat
• Weigh yourself before and after the activity, for each pound lost, drink 16 ounces of fluid.

LIQUID CALORIES…What’s Your Intake?

By Alison Wilson, Wellness Director/Nutritionist
Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

Over the last 37 years the total daily intake of calories from beverages increased 94%, now amounting to an additional 222 calories per day. Note that in one year, just one daily 12-ounce soda can increase your weight by 16 pounds!





Tips for reducing intake of high calorie beverages
When keeping track of calories don’t forget that everything you eat and drink counts!

When watching your calories water is always the best option. It has zero calories and will keep you hydrated!

A plain cup of coffee contains only a few calories, so consider this when drinking youdaily cup of joe:

  • 1 tablespoon of cream adds more than 50 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar adds nearly 50 calories
  • 1 tablespoon of fat-free milk, on the other hand, adds only 5 calories
  • 100% fruit juices and low-fat milk are good high calorie beverages since they supply other nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.

Stretch

There are many ways to stretch: static, static with pulsing, active release, reciprocal inhibition, and activated isolated stretching (AIS). There are many people who don’t like the old-school static stretching, so let’s look at that last one, which can help give you a small strength increase while you lengthen your muscles!

How does AIS work? Let’s say, for example, that you wanted to stretch your calf. You would sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and a yoga strap, belt, or similar object. The first thing you do is try to move your toes toward your kneecap, making note of how far you can move it. Then you put the yoga strap around the ball of your foot and try again to move your toes toward your kneecap, but this time when you reach the limit of your movement you gently pull on the strap to move your foot just a little bit farther.

You should do that twelve times, and when you’ve finished you would not only have stretched your calf muscle, you would also have strengthened your anterior low leg. Two birds with one stone!

For more information, pick up the book “The Whartons’ Stretch Book” by Jim and Phil Wharton.