Did you know Saturn’s largest moon Titan has liquid on it? Instead of water, the seas and lakes of Titan have running ammonia with ice sheets. Of course, that’s in addition to a dense atmosphere of nitrogen and methane making this satellite a front runner in the contention for the discovery of life outside Earth. Throughout its evolution, life on Titan will have been fuelled by methane, ethane and ammonia just as life on Earth is fuelled by oxygen and water.
Coming back to Earth, water is essential for all life on Earth. All living beings on Earth are essentially made up of water with human beings being made up of more than 60 parts just water. Water is the medium for transport of all the vitamins and minerals that are required for the body’s perfect functioning. Therefore, meeting your body’s hydration needs before, during and after exercise is imperative.
Why exactly is hydration?
When you start exercising, your breathing speeds up and your body starts sweating, which means you’re losing precious water. Along with water, more precious electrolytes and nutrients are lost. Replenishing this supply is termed hydration. The first sign of dehydration is feeling tired and feeling your muscles cramp. Long term effects include high blood pressure, obesity, premature ageing, diabetes and kidney problems. None of want any of this.
So how much water should you drink?
Well, it depends. It depends on your weight and how much you exercise. It’s a good idea to weigh yourself before and after you exercise to check how much water you lose. This will give you a good idea since each person’s hydration needs are dependant on their lifestyle.
Why are electrolytes important?
With 75% of your muscles being made up of water and its electrolytes, building muscle will require intense hydration. This is true for both athletics and exercise.
Sodium, calcium, potassium and calcium are all electrolytes.
These electrolytes are technically chemicals that form ions in body fluids. This means they help the body function at its optimal level. When you have too few electrolytes indoor body, it causes your muscles to cramp. Consuming the right amount of electrolytes helps in healthy contraction of muscles (including the heart) and producing energy! In addition to that they help blood in clotting and help in building new tissue. They also help in maintaining the pH of your blood.
Now we know how important it is to drink water before, during and after your exercise, it’s also important to look at the big picture of water and our existence as a whole. Our planet is young at 4.5 billion years old. Nobody is certain how water came to be on our planet. Scientists speculate and point to comets and asteroids as the likely source. With us being able to observe only 4% of our universe and taking 35 years for Voyager 1 to just exit our Solar System, it’s safe to say it’s going to take a while before we stumble upon life outside our home. It’s going to take an even longer time for us to elevate ourselves from the status of a Type 1 civilization (one that can harness the energy of an entire planet) to a Type 2 civilization (one that can harness the entire energy of a star), which will give us the technological energy required to colonise a new planet.
Titan is the closest we have to a habitable planet with its ice sheets. We just have to find a way to transform ourselves into Nitrogen-inhaling, ammonia-consuming beings of course.
Oh, we can’t? Then let’s get to saving our blue home! And oh, before I forget – drink lots of water while you’re at it, stay hydrated everyone!