Body and limbs: Nutrition; moisture balance

The human body consists of 58 percent water. In newborn babies, this even makes up almost 80 percent of the total body weight. For women, the share is on average a few percent lower. This can be explained by the average high adipose tissue content of the female organism.

Moisture balance

While muscles consist of approximately 77 percent water, fat contains very little water. If the body now loses one percent of its fluid, a feeling of thirst already arises. With a loss of two percent of fluid, the performance in terms of endurance is already less, from five percent you can accelerated heart activity, apathy, vomiting and muscle cramps occur and with a fluid loss of more than fifteen percent, the person is no longer able to stay alive.
Water fulfills various vital functions in the human body. It mainly serves as a building material, as a solvent and transport agent and as a heat regulator. To enable the organism to perform these functions properly, a balanced moisture balance is required. This means: the more water is used in the body, the more water we have to supply again.
Especially in a dry and warm climate and due to physical exertion, the fluid requirement can increase considerably. A well-known rule of thumb states that humans can survive three weeks without food, but only three days without drinking. Under normal circumstances, your body needs at least 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. If the fluid loss due to heat, physical exertion, etc. is higher, the requirement can be up to ten liters per day.
To ensure the moisture supply from dishes, water-rich food is recommended. With regard to drinks, note that certain drinks add fluid to the body, but do not contain energy, while others provide fluid and energy.
The drinks that an athlete uses during physical exertion must partly meet different requirements than drinks that are consumed during the day. In particular, they must replace the moisture lost through sweat and the minerals dissolved in sweat. In addition, they must be formulated in such a way that they are absorbed and distributed by the body as quickly as possible.

To sweat

Humans lose between 2.7 and 3 grams of minerals per liter of sweat. To compensate for this loss, the absorbed moisture must replace the lost minerals. A trained athlete sweats faster than an untrained athlete at a comparable level of exertion, but loses less sodium and chloride with sweat. The loss of other minerals, such as potassium and magnesium, is the same per liter of sweat in trained and untrained people.
To ensure that the amount of fluid supplied during and after exercise can be absorbed at an optimal speed, the number of dissolved particles such as minerals and sugar elements in the fluid supplied must correspond to the number of particles in the blood (= isotonic). Special drinks are available for this. In general, an apple juice mix of two to three parts mineral water and one part apple juice achieves the same result; plain water contains too few particles (= hypotonic), apple juice too many (= hypertonic).

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