Water Intake Regimen
Water Intake Regimen
in man. A proper water intake regimen ensures a normal water-salt metabolism and creates favorable conditions for the life activity of the organism. Irregular or excessive consumption of water impairs digestion. By increasing the total volume of blood, it creates an additional strain on the cardiovascular system and the kidneys and increases the excretion of necessary substances, such as sodium chloride, through the kidneys and sweat glands.
Temporary fluid overload (for example, from the intake of a large quantity of water) disrupts muscular function, leads rapidly to muscle fatigue, and sometimes causes convulsions. When insufficient water is consumed, the feeling of well-being is impaired, body temperature is elevated, pulse and respiration are accelerated, and work efficiency decreases. Dehydration may have even more serious consequences.
The water norm—the minimum quantity of water necessary to maintain the body’s water-salt balance for 24 hours—depends on climatic conditions, a person’s age, and the type and difficulty of work. In the middle zone of the USSR, 2.5 liters (l) of water should be taken with food and drink by persons whose work involves minimal physical exertion, and up to 4 l per day by those whose work is of moderate difficulty. Under the climatic conditions of Middle Asia, persons with relatively sedentary jobs require 3.5 l of water per day, and those whose jobs require moderate physical exertion, 5 l. Heavy outdoor work may raise the body’s daily water requirement to 6.5 l. In hot climates, people should quench their thirst only after meals and should strictly limit their intake of fluids between meals. To quench the thirst they should drink tea with table salt, or fruit or vegetable juices, or extracts. In hot workshops lightly salted carbonated water (0.5 percent solution of NaCl) or beverages made from dried fruits are drunk.
Athletes should quench their thirst only after completion of training work or competition. During exercise, thirst and dryness of the mouth are relieved by rinsing the mouth and throat with water. Drinking small quantities of water is recommended if there is substantial weight loss after training exercises, competitions, or steam baths.