We talk a lot about protein, carbs, and fat but we tend to forget about how important water is to your body. Water makes up 55-75% of your weight and plays a role in all functions of your body everyday. Water plays a role in every cell, organ and system. It makes up all body fluids, acts as a lubricant and protectant, aids in digestion and elimination of waste and water also regulates body temperature.
Now that we know how important water is to us- how much should we drink? Conventional wisdom says (8)- 8 oz glasses a day but that is just a guideline. A better way: What is your weight? Divide that by 2. The answer is how many ounces of fluid you should take in each day. So- if you are 120 lb you should drink 60 oz, if you are 250 lb you should drink 125 oz. This makes much more sense that a one size fits all number. This also varies by age (seniors need more water), and by level of activity. If you are doing strenuous work or working out you will want to increase your intake.
What counts as fluids?
While most of your fluid needs should be met by drinking water, it is available from other beverages, soups and even foods. Skim milk, 100% fruit juice, and decaffeinated teas are mostly water, so go ahead and count them toward your daily goal. Fruits and vegetables also contain a fair amount of water.
Bottled or tap?
For the most part, whether you drink bottled or tap water is a matter of taste. Drink what you like but keep these tips in mind:
• Fluoride: Most municipal tap water is fluoridated.If you rely solely on bottled water, check the label to see if it contains fluoride. If not, discuss fluoride supplementation with your dentist.
• Sodium: Municipal tap water is usually relatively low in sodium. Water treated with a home water softener can have higher levels of sodium.
Healthy Water Habits:
Start the morning off right by drinking a glass ofwater as soon as you wake up (before coffee!).
• Carry a water bottle wherever you go so youare not tempted to grab sodas and other sugared beverages.
• Switch to sugar-free coffee, tea, or sodas. Caffeine free is also a good idea.
• Order water with lemon at restaurants.
• Drink a glass of water before each meal or snack
• If you’re at home, keep a half-gallon of water in the refrigerator.