The Importance of Drinking Water

Have you had enough water today? How do you know how much is enough? These are important questions to know the answers to because every major system in your body is influenced by fluid balance.  Our body is composed of roughly 60% of water and it has the many jobs to take care of our bodies.  It transports nutrients to our organs and cells, carries away toxins, serves as a lubricant for joints and bones, helps us regulate our body temperature and even impacts brain function.  Without water, we simply cannot survive!

The amount of water a person needs each day varies from person to person, depending on how active you are, how much you sweat, and so on. There is no fixed amount of water that must be consumed daily, but there is general agreement on what a healthy fluid intake is.  According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average recommended daily intake of water from both food and drink is:

  • For men: 125 ounces or around 15.5 cups
  • For women: 91 ounces or just over 11 cups

However, around 80% of this should come from drinks, including water, and the rest will be from food.

This means that:

  • Men should drink around 100 ounces, or 12.5 cups of fluid
  • Women should drink around 73 ounces, or just over 9 cups

Fresh fruits and vegetables and all non-alcoholic fluids count towards this recommendation.

You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:

  • Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
  • Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated.

Now that summer is fast approaching and the weather is getting warmer, is more important to make sure you are drinking water to stay hydrated. Here are some top hydration choices:

Fluids:  Water/sparkling water, tea, and milk- especially for children

Foods:  Low-sodium beef/chicken vegetable broth, cucumber, cabbage, zucchini, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, bell peppers, and asparagus.

If you’re not careful in the hot and humid weather it can be easy to become dehydrated, here are common signs to look out for:

Thirst, Brain fog, fatigue and irritability, Constipation, Dark yellow urine, Dizziness, Rapid or irregular heartbeat, Dry mouth, Sunken eyes and dry skin, Reduced urine or sweat output, Headache, joint pain and cramps,  and Elevated body temperature.

Drink Up!

Resources:

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/essential-guide-to-hydration/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814#facts

Water: How much should you drink every day? – Mayo Clinic

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