You all need water! All living things need water to survive whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage!
How many of you think of a nice, cold glass of water when you need to quench your thirst? Whether we are indoors or out – we need to remember to keep our bodies hydrated and water should be the first thing we reach for. Your body is about 60% water and constantly needs to be replenished. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly.
- Why water? Well, water does a great job in helping to keep our bodies hydrated without adding any sugar, caffeine or other substances
- How much? You’ve probably heard for years that we all need 8 glasses of water every day – for a total of 64 ounces. Researchers have pointed out that the need for fluid can vary widely among individuals.
- Does it have to be “plain” water? No, there are many ways to dress up the taste of a glass of water. A fairly common way to flavor the water is to add fruit or vegetable slices – lemons, strawberries, cucumber, etc. You can also add herbs to the water for refreshing drinks. Try a sprig of mint for a refreshing change of taste!
- Can it help me lose weight? That is a possibility! If you drink a full glass of water before your meal, you may trick your brain into thinking that you are full sooner! Also, if you substitute water for high calories drinks, you are helping control the number of calories your body is taking in each day.
- Don’t always rely on your body to tell you that you need some water. When you are hot and sweaty, your thirst mechanism can shut off and you don’t know that you need some fluids. . If our bodies become dehydrated it can lead to physical and mental problems.
- While water is the best source of fluids for your body, don’t forget that you can count all of the fluids you drink during the day. Many of the fruits and vegetables we eat have high water contents – try watermelon, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, and celery.
- Try to keep track of how much water you drink during a typical day. Aiming for the 8 glasses is not a bad thing – just remember that the amount your body needs will vary with your activity level, your body size and the temperature if you are outside and other factors.
Written by: Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, Treber.email@example.com
How Much Water Do You Really Need? Health and Nutrition Newsletter: Tufts University. July 2014. Volume 32, No.5