What’s the skinny on water?

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Your water needs depend on your health, how active you are and where you live.
Knowing YOUR body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.
Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 70 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, and even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
“Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total. That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. The “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, but it remains popular because it’s easy to remember.
• Fruit juice, soda, ice tea all have calories that add up.
• Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, and green tea, count for ½ and can dehydrate you at the same time.
• For every hour of exercise, drink an extra quart of water.
• Avoid drinking distilled water regularly, because it can deplete your body of needed minerals.
• Stick to warm or room temperature fluids. You wouldn’t water your plants with freezing cold water or put icy water into your pet’s water bowl and in Traditional Chinese Medicine, cold drinks disrupt the proper flow of energy in the body and “shocks” the body.

While you may have a favorite soda or ‘gatorade’ type drink that you use to supply your daily fluid requirement consider this- one drink giving you an extra 150 calories each day is 1050 calories a week, 4,200 a month, and 50,400 a year! And that’s just one!

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