Wonder Waters: Reality or Hype?
Exercise physiologists, doctors and diet guru’s all push the need for adequate hydration. Adequate hydration is key to weight loss. Water is instrumental in flushing fat from your system. We all know that water is very important to any exercise program. So what water is the best water to use? Well most people just drink plain water from the well or the tap. But there are waters out there that may have more benefit than the average water coming out of our tap. It is up to you to decide which best fits your needs. Some sources say it is best to drink plain water and that all of these designer waters are just hype but it all depends on what fits your needs and makes you feel better. The bottom line is ….Drink. Drink at least 8 full oz. per day to keep your body machine running well. So let’s talk about the waters.
There are electrolyte based waters. When we sweat we lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are compounds in our bodies that hold an electrical charge. Sodium (Na) has a positive charge, Potassium (K) holds a negative charge, calcium (Ca) holds two positive charges. The fluctuation of these electrolytes across through voltage gates in the cells is what keeps cells functioning. Maintaining adequate electrolytes then is imperative to keeping your cells functioning optimally to maintain your stamina. These waters are very important during exercise and high energy sports to replace electrolyte loss,
Hydrogen waters are another type of water utilized in high performance exercise and high energy sports. The idea behind hydrogen waters is the hydrogen crosses cell membranes extremely easily. The addition of extra hydrogen molecules is touted to have protective effects on these cell membranes. Hydrogen waters are classified as having the effects of providing more energy, providing anti-inflammatory effects, and antioxidant properties. The clinical evidence behind these waters is sketchy. But, it’s all about what makes you feel better and what gives you the energy required to maintain fitness. If this is your gig, there are hydrogen tablets to put in water and rechargeable portable water bottles to pump up your hydrogen hydration.
Alkaline waters are the latest craze also. Your body functions by balancing its acid base status. This is referred to as your body’s pH. Normal body pH is between 7.35-.7.45. The normal pH of tap or bottled water is 4.3- 5. Alkaline water has a pH of 7. The higher the pH value the more alkaline the substance is. These waters tout the claims that they increase energy and metabolism. They also claim to make your body more alkaline in general which can help in maintaining your health especially in diabetics who frequently are in acidic metabolic states. The theory behind this is that it should make your blood steam more alkaline. However, there is no real data to show that they improve any health condition by altering body pH. Your kidneys are the main organ which alters your acid base status as long as they are functioning appropriately they will reabsorb or excrete what is needed to maintain a normal pH no matter what type of water you drink. individuals with kidney disease should be cautious drinking alkaline waters as they contain higher levels of magnesium and calcium.
Bottom line it doesn’t matter what water you choose. Just replace what you are loosing, especially during exercise periods. And as always emphasized by this site, do your homework before deciding what is best for you, especially if you have underlying health conditions.