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Innovation in Hydration: The Science Behind Your Body's Need for Water

from Sports Illustrated

With spring upon us, it is getting warmer in most places, and the rising temperatures mean when people start heading outside, the stress associated with exercise can be amplified by added thermal stress. While exercising indoors seems like a solution, there is no guarantee of a cool work out as most exercise equipment is stationary, which limits air flow and the evaporative cooling we all need to stay comfortable when it is warm.

When our core body temperature increases by 1-2 degrees Fahrenheit (about 0.5 to 1 degrees Centigrade) most of us start to sweat. The purpose of this sweat is to wet the skin and upon evaporation, the skin cools. When you start sweating skin blood flow also goes up dramatically. If the skin and the blood flowing through are both cool, they keep core temperature down while exercising and burning calories.

This design is thought to have evolved so that early humans could hunt in warm dry environments. Humans can’t out run most game over short distances but because we sweat and have high skin blood flow we stay cool and can out last many faster animals over time. So what does dehydration do and what are some of the things we need to do to keep this cooling system working? more


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