The human body depends on water for survival. Each organ, tissue, and cell in the body requires it to function properly. When it comes to hydration, striking the right balance is challenging. Too much or too little can have devastating effects on the performance of simple tasks.In sports performance, the need for proper hydration is amplified, as competitive environments have little margin of error and drivers need a clear head to make quick decisions. This is the genesis of RainMaker and FluidLogic, the most advanced personal automated drink system available to drivers navigating competitive high speed racetracks.
Why Is Hydration Important?
To understand the basics of hydration, it is important to also understand the significance of staying hydrated. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60-70% water. Humans can survive for weeks without food, but dehydration for a few days or mere hours can be deadly.
Water leaves the body through natural processes such as sweating, breathing, and bowel movements. Failure to replenish the fluids you lose leaves us feeling exhausted and hinders bodily functions.
Proper hydration aids in sleep, concentration and short-term memory. Athletic performance also benefits significantly from drinking sufficient fluids.Research shows that the loss of body hydration in race car drivers leads to brain fog and the loss of cognitive functions.
How Hydration Impacts Health
Few things impact your health like staying properly hydrated. Here are some health benefits of proper hydration:
- Helps Prevent Headaches: Dehydration is a major trigger of migraine and headaches in some individuals. Studies indicate that headache is a tell-tale symptom of dehydration. Drinking the recommended amount of water can keep headaches at bay, besides helping to relieve the condition among those who experience it frequently.
- Aids Digestion: Water is important for healthy digestion. As the Mayo Clinic explains, water helps break down the food you eat, allowing its nutrients to be absorbed by your body. After you drink, both your small and large intestines absorb water, which moves into your bloodstream and is also used to break down nutrients.
- Kidney Stones Treatment: Kidney stones are hard, painful mineral crystal clumps within the urinary tract and kidneys. If you've previously suffered from kidney stones, water intake can help prevent recurrence. It increases the volume of urine that passes through the kidneys, making it difficult for mineral particles to crystallize
- Helps With Weight Loss: Research indicates that proper hydration can help you shed weight by increasing your metabolic rate and satiety. It's best to hydrate before meals because it leaves you feeling fuller and inclined to eat less food.
Signs of Dehydration
The tell-tale signs of dehydration vary by age, physical condition, and level of activeness. Young children rarely recognize the feeling of thirst, so it's essential to provide them with fluids frequently and watch out for the typical signs of dehydration. These include lethargy, irritability, infrequent urination, little or no tears when they cry, and a dry mouth/tongue.
In adults, dehydration may be accompanied by symptoms like thirst, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, and infrequent urination. A common way of telling whether you're hydrated is by observing the color of your urine. When you're healthy and hydrated, your urine should fall somewhere between colorless and the color of light straw and honey. When you don't consume enough fluids, your urine becomes more concentrated and turns a darker yellow or amber color.
What Causes Dehydration?
As mentioned earlier, the human body's biological processes, such as breathing, sweating, and excretion, contribute significantly to dehydration.
Athletes who perform extreme physical activities or work outside in hot temperatures sweat more and experience more extreme rates of dehydration. Failure to hydrate leaves them susceptible to heat injuries such as heat exhaustion, muscle cramps, and hypovolemic shock.
Some diuretic medicines and certain blood pressure levels can increase urination, resulting in faster dehydration. Failure to diagnose diabetes or control it properly can potentially lead to dehydration. Extreme or sudden episodes of vomiting or diarrhea remove a significant volume of fluids from your body organs and tissues within a short time, leaving you feeling thirsty.
Calculating Beneficial Fluids
According to the National Academies of Medicine, women need an average of 2.7 liters of fluid per day while men need about 3.7 liters.
Most daily fluid intake should be from water (around 50 fluid ounces if you're on a 2,200-calorie diet). Another 28 fluid ounces may come from beverages such as tea or coffee.
Broth-based soup, beverages, and even food count towards your fluid intake. In this regard, consider fruits and veggies such as watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, lettuce, celery, and cucumbers because they have a high water percentage.
Even as you look to meet the minimum threshold, avoid taking sugar-sweetened beverages such as fruit juice and soda. The high sugar content in them leaves you feeling thirstier and could potentially lead to health issues such as diabetes. Remember that hydration isn't only about quenching your thirst but meeting your body's minimal fluid requirement.
Importance of Hydration for Motorsports Racers
Motorsports racers' bodies undergo significant physical exertion during practice and races. They lose a lot of water and need to replenish it to maintain peak concentration and performance. Proper hydration for athletes also enables them to sleep better and helps in post-workout recovery besides preventing muscle injuries.
Studies provide evidence that that motorsport drivers should consider strategies to improve cardiovascular fitness, heat tolerance (acclimatization), and adopt a fluid replacement system to better meet the challenges of motorsport competition. As with any activity, it is best to match fluid intake with sweat losses and not drink more fluid than is lost.
Stay Hydrated on the Go
RainMaker Inc. Inc. is at the forefront of active hydration, aiding the performance of athletes in motorsports and more with automated drink systems that simplify body hydration. Our innovative line of FluidLogic products make hydration simple and efficient.
FluidLogic is an intuitive, automated, active hydration system, featuring quick release magnetic connectors and a sleek, ergonomic design. Our system is created for decision-makers and end-users in all motorsports industries who are looking for an edge in performance, and athletes of all disciplines who want to increase their performance.