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Thirst Trap

Health coach Ethan Quant, of Elite Wellness Solutions, has succeeded in his weight loss journey and now wants to share his methods with the Bahamas in an effort to foster a culture of wellness and conquer the obesity epidemic.

We have all heard it in one form or another: "We need to drink water". When we start a fitness programme, drinking an adequate amount of water becomes even more essential. Generally, we should all know that we need to drink water to be healthy. We've only heard this our entire lives. But why is drinking water such an important part of living a healthy lifestyle, and how much should we drink to ensure we're checking off this box?

First, we must understand that water is the single largest component of the human body, as it makes up about 50 to 70 per cent of our body weight. In other words, if you are 170 pounds, about 85-119 pounds is water weight.

Water has many important functions including regulating body temperature, protecting vital organs and providing a driving force for nutrient absorption.

Additionally, how much water you have in your body can be influenced by a variety of factors, such as what you eat, drink, how much you sweat, urinate and even breathe. These factors play an especially important role during exercise when your metabolism is increased.

If you are not drinking enough water to replenish the fluids you've lost, whether during exercise or regular activity, the body attempts to compensate by retaining more water and excreting more concentrated urine. When this happens, you will become dehydrated and need to increase your water intake.

It is also important to know that you can actually drink too much water. If your intake is excessive and your water loss is minimal, this can lead to a condition known as hyponatremia. This is a condition that occurs when the blood's water to sodium ratio is severely elevated. If the sodium in your body becomes too diluted from excess water intake, it can leak into brain tissue and cause encephalopathy, or brain swelling. Fortunately, the human body is well equipped to withstand dramatic variations in fluid intake during exercise and at rest with little to no detrimental health effects.

So how much water should you be drinking? We have all heard that you should be getting at least eight glasses of water a day our whole lives. Also, if you talk to your fitness professional they may give you a formula that uses your height, body weight and the algorithm from the planetary alignment of Saturn and Uranus (blah blah blah). For simplicity sake, I have been using a very easy and effective method for years. While it's not the most scientific, it is close enough for me. It's the urine test.

If you go to the bathroom and your urine is clear or has a light yellow tint to it, you are hydrated and drinking enough water. If it is more on the darker side, you may have to increase your water intake to avoid dehydration. Sounds simple enough, right?

Like I said, it's not completely scientific, but its close enough to keep your water intake at a healthy level.

• If you need help navigating any part of your health, wellness and fitness process, you can contact Ethan Quant at ethan@elite-wellnesssolutions.com or on Instagram at @ethanquant.

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