So here I am again banging on about water and hydration :). I can almost hear the collective sighs of my FB friends; haven’t you posted “Happy Hydrating” already? Don’t worry – this post has a slightly different slant.
I am used to the looks of indulgence when I say to people that I don’t trust my body to tell me to drink; I use my brain/eyes; planting filled glasses of water around my house and using the glimpses of them as triggers to pick up and drink; otherwise I too would forget (there are so many distractions, sigh…).
I am used to the sometimes incredulous looks when I cannot admit a new person to class because they simply have not drank any water or only a glass of water or have considered copious cups of coffee to be their adequate intake (please see my website which explains YM policy on admission) or when I suggest to people they may need to increase or double their water intake after they have just drank more than they ever have in preparation for their first class.
It can take a few days to get to proper hydration if you are already dehydrated; and I heard a whisper that a large amount of the general population is walking around dehydrated and they don’t even know it. A dry mouth is the very last sign of dehydration i.e. a moist mouth is absolutely no indicator that you are hydrated! It might be difficult at first to drink larger quantities of water than what you are used to (involving plenty of trips to the loo) but one should persevere.
Any measures or percentages mentioned hereafter are approximations and may vary depending on what you are reading, but stated just to give you an idea. The following are percentages of water make up in the body: 90% Lungs 75% muscle 83% kidneys 22% bones 82% blood 70% weight of brain. Every vital function of the body is connected to the efficient flow of water – digestion, circulation, lubrication, elimination, absorption and regulation.
The cells in our bodies are full of water. So much water, where does it come from? YOU HAVE TO PUT IT IN.
But the World Health Org seem unable to come up with an RDA for water consumption because simply there are so many variables so they came up with an ‘Adequate Intake’ of 3.7 L for men and 2.7 L for women; some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten (and I cannot see that they have finalized these guidelines – tricky business AI).
The most common (average) recommendations I have come across for water intake are (1) 8×8 fl oz of water or (2) 2.5 litres. However, if you are coming to work in a Bikram environment you should consider surpassing the adequate measure for yourself.
Of course everybody’s body is different. Don’t drink so much that it swills around your belly and makes you feel sick just before a class; drinking gallons of water just prior to a class really isn’t going to do it! Full hydration (after dehydration has occurred) can take 2-3 days to get back to normal; so you should be drinking regularly all the time.
Quantities of water left on the towel/ mat/ floor through sweat in class varies in individuals some – you know who you are! 🙂 – sweating litres more than others 🙂 . Any body weight change in a single Yoga session must be replaced with an amount of fluid that is equal to the amount lost, using the guideline that 1 kg (2.2lb) equals 1 L. Ensure you use electrolytes as part of your re-hydration regime (see previous post about electrolytes).
Water is most quickly absorbed (osmosis) at ambient temperatures. Even though cold/ice water may seem more refreshing it delays how quickly it can be absorbed as the water must heat to body temperature before being absorbed.
I think a Bikram Yoga class really helps one focus on and appreciate the importance of proper hydration to help maintain health; this is a good thing.
Om Om OM Drink Water.
A few other posts about HYDRATION/Sweat hereafter, Namaste ~ Trisha: