Thursday, April 11, 2013

Water Intake

Women, are you getting in your 9 cups of water a day? Men, are you getting in your 13 cups of water a day? That sure does seem like a lot of water! The Institute of Medicine determined those levels to be adequate for the body to maintain its high level of functioning. Every day you lose water through perspiration, breathing, urine, and bowel movements. It's no wonder we need so much!

Water makes up about 60% of your body weight. Every system in the human body relies on water for it to function properly. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to cells, provides a moist environment for nasal cavities, keeps your body at a normal temperature, and lubricates and cushions joints.

Before you start to guzzle down 9-13 cups of water, look at what you are eating. About 80% of our intake of comes from drinking water and the other 20% comes from food. Some foods with high water content include lettuce (95%), watermelon (92%), broccoli (91%), and apples (84%). There are many other foods with a high water content; however, you will find most of these foods to be fruits and vegetables.

Do sugary beverages count as fluid? Yes, they do count towards your overall fluid intake. They will keep you hydrated; however, they are full of added sugars and calories with little to no benefit for your health. I've heard many people say that they don't like the taste of water. My suggestion is to try water with a splash of lemon or another citrus fruit. Also, you could do half sugary drink and half water (if you can't let go of your juices or power-ades). Experiment and see what works best for you.

Two additional benefits of water are that it's calorie free (great for weight control) and it's free (from the faucet of course). Bottoms up and healthy drinking to you!

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