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Water: an Overlooked Essential Nutrient

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    Good morning, my name is Alan Ta and I’m a Registered Dietitian participating in the “Lunch and Learn” program today. On this presentation, I would like to discuss the main point, “Water: An Overlooked Essential Nutrient”; and reveals the importance of water in the body, hydration and unrecognized nutrients the body needs. The body depending on gender is composed of 65 to 50 percent water, with 85% in the brain, and 15% in the bones(Kreutler & Czajka-Narins).

    Different cells in the body require water to function properly, blood is composed of water which carries nutrients throughout the body, lubricates joints and helps with gastric juices (Kreutler & Czajka-Narins). Without proper hydration, these vital organs and bodily functions will be reduced. Dehydration through exercise must be addressed or a person can pass out and in extreme cases die. To address the concern of hydration and nutrition, this firm is considering three beverage types: water, Gatorade or Powerade.

    According to the Mayo Clinic (2012), men should consume 3 liters of water daily and women should consume 2. 2 liters. During regular short bouts of exercise 1. 5 to 2. 5 additional cups of water are required (Mayo Clinic, 2012). In terms of long bouts such as marathons the additional of sodium filled sports drinks is required (Mayo Clinic, 2012). These types of beverages help to prevent hypernatremia, which can be fatal. The number of these drinks consumed can be determined by the number of hours that individual is engaged in extreme exercise.

    It is crucial to continue drinking fluids such as sodium sports drinks and water after the exercise has ceased. Both Gatorade and Powerade contain sodium, however, Gatorade contains twice as much (450 milligrams to 225 milligrams)(Northwest Runner Magazine, 2002). Sodium helps the body retain waters and regulates the heartbeat. The sugar content within the beverages helps get sugar to the blood faster. Gatorade and Powerade both fall into the bracket of 4 to 8 percent(Northwest Runner Magazine, 2002). In this case Powerade has 2% more sugar than Gatorade.

    When considering the better of these two beverages speed of absorption and sodium content must be carefully weighed. Water contains nutrients such as calcium and sodium. Calcium is used to keep your bones healthy and strong. Water can be found in basically three variations: tap, bottled and well/spring water. It would not be advisable to consume water from lakes, or ponds and water from wells/springs are usually inaccessible. Gatorade includes liquid forms like the G-Series which is more concentrated and also in powdered drink mixes. Powerade provides Powerade Zero with no sugar and extra electrolytes.

    Both types of sports drinks have various flavors to choose from. Certain bottled waters like Dasani are flavored as well. Gatorade Prime is priced at $1. 99 for a pack of 4 and $35. 91 for a pack of 20. Powerade 8 packs are $3. 99 each. Dasani water in a 24 pack costs $6. 00. The cost of these beverages will be compared to the amount need for consumption to maintain adequate hydration within in the body on a regular basis and also during short or long terms of exercise. It has already been stated previously by the Mayo Clinic that water is essential to the body first and foremost.

    Without it the human body cannot continue normal life functions. The inclusion of sports drinks is only necessary when the individual is performing strenuous exercise like the Olympics, triathlon or marathon because normal salt levels must be maintained. After looking at the statistics between Gatorade and Powerade, it would be more beneficial to consume Gatorade. With every recommendation for better health there are also safety factors to consider. In terms of water, there are no true safety factors to consider it. If the water is bottled, there can be a high level of non-contamination.

    If you chose to get it from the tap then you should use filters. Excessive hydration is only a factor when the individual consumes the amount of water it takes for the body to function normally during non-extreme workout periods. In terms of sports drinks usage beyond recommendations can increase blood sugar levels which can lead to diseases such as diabetes (hyperglycemia). Also, excessive salt is bad because it causes muscle cramps, confusion, bloating and excessive thirst (FitDay, 2011). After considering all the facts and evidence, I’ve come to the decision.

    I do believe that water can be obtained anywhere. There are water fountains, water coolers; and of course individuals can bring water to the office in their own containers. There are 2 options left, Gatorade and Powerade. And I would like to recommend Powerade. First, Powerade contains low levels of sodium and acceptable levels of sugar for absorption within the body. Second, I understand no officer will likely work the equivalent of a marathon or triathlon, however, Powerade Zero can still provide needed electrolytes and no sugar.

    Third, the price is also reasonable with $3. 99 for a pack of 8. My decision of promoting Powerade for this firm does not mean to reduce the importance of regular water consumption for the body. For those individuals who are not drinking the recommended amounts I advise you to think of it and begin with this choice. If this is difficult, may you try to create reminders and charts for yourself? And I would like to remind you that dehydration can be subtle and it impedes the proper functioning of the human body.


    FitDay. (2011). signs you’re eating too much salt. Retrieved from http://www. fitday. com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/5-signs-youre-eating-too-much-salt. html Kreutler, Patricia A. & Czajka-Narins, Dorice M. Water in the body. Retrieved from http://www. chemcraft. net/wbody. html Mayo Clinic. (2012). Water: How much should we drink every day? Retrieved from http://www. mayoclinic. com/health/water/NU00283/ Northwest Runner Magazine. (2002). Gatorade vs. Powerade: Battle of the beverages. Retrieved from http://faculty. washington. edu/crowther/Misc/RBC/QandA3. shtml

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