Did you know your body is made up of 50-70% water? Water is an important part of every function in the body. Hydration plays a major role in regulating body temperature, getting rid of waste, and keeping your organs functioning properly. It can also improve sleep, brain function, and energy levels. Drinking enough water is especially important during physical activity and in hot weather due to loss of fluids through sweat.
What counts toward my fluid intake?
Fruits, vegetables, dairy and plant-based milks, and 100% fruit juice all contain water. Unsweetened coffee and tea can also be counted toward your daily fluid goal. However, plain water is the best way to stay hydrated.
How much should I drink?
You've probably heard the recommendation to drink eight cups of water per day. Further research has shown that each person's fluid needs are different depending on health, activity, and location. For some people, eight 8-ounce glasses may be just right. Others may feel better drinking more. If you find yourself eating and drinking the high water content foods and beverages above, your water needs may be lower.
What's the bottom line?
Be aware of early signs of dehydration such as increased thirst, dark urine, muscle cramps, early fatigue, headache, increased body temperature, and fast heart rate. Replace fluids early and don't wait until you feel thirsty to drink. Aim to include foods with a high water content in your diet, and don't stress about how many cups of water you drink.
Try one of the tips from the handout to prevent or correct early signs of dehydration this week.
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- How much water do you need to stay healthy? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/indepth/water/art-20044256. Published October 14, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2021.
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