250317 Fluid replacement-Water and the body-why we need it (3/3)

250317 Fluid replacement-Water and the body-why we need it

Water “serves as the body’s transport and reactive medium: Diffusion of gasses always takes place across surfaces moistened with water. (Page 53 reference # 1)

Oral re-hydration solutions that offer the quickest method of replacing lost fluids and electrolytes seem to be in a carbohydrate concentration range of 5-8%. Solutions in this range generally permit carbohydrate replacement without hindering water uptake. (Fructose is not desirable because it takes too long to exit the digestive system and thus promotes less fluid uptake than glucose based drinks). (Page 76 reference #1)

To figure the percentage of carbohydrates in the drink, divide carbohydrate content (in grams) by fluid volume (in milliliters) and multiply by 100. (Page 76 reference #2)

The fact remains that our body needs water to function. If it does not get it, it cannot do its job efficiently, which in turn reflects on your ability to do the task you have set out to do. The point of all this is to watch over the fluid/water status.

By the way, coffee acts as a diuretic, which means it expels fluids from the body. Pop has a high content of sugar, so does not exit the stomach quickly. And some of the sports drinks have a poor carbohydrate ratio. In most cases, water seems to be the best replacement fluid for our body.

Suggestions for avoiding potential dehydration/hyponatremia problems

  • Water at 5 Degrees Celsius is most useful in recovery from a dehydrated state. In large quantities, fluid at 15-21 degrees Celsius is normally preferred. (page 810 reference #2)
  • Encourage the ingestion of 13-20 ounces of cold fluids 20 minutes before suiting up and some of these dangers can be avoided.(page 510 reference #2)
  • Drink fluids at the same rate they are being depleted or at least close to 80% of the sweating rate.(Page 77 reference #2)
  • A good rule of thumb to follow is that one pound of weight loss represents a loss of one pint of body fluid. This fluid needs to be replaced quickly to move it from the digestive track into the body where it is needed. Gulp instead of sip.

NOTE: This information is not meant to replace a doctor’s recommendation.


  1. Exercise Physiology by William D McArdle, Frank I. Katch, and Victor L Katch. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. © 1996


  1. Essentials of Strength and Conditioning by Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle. Human Kinetics. © 2000