Nutrition for Everyone
August 11, 2008
Ever notice how lifeless a house plant looks when you forget to water it? Just a little water and it seems to perk back up. Water is just as essential for our bodies because it is in every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. That's why getting enough water every day is important for your health.
Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking fluids with meals. But, if you're outside in hot weather for most of the day or doing vigorous physical activity, you'll need to make an effort to drink more fluids.
Where Do I Get the Water I Need?
Most of your water needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. You can get some fluid through the foods you eat. For example, broth soups and other foods that are 85% to 95% water such as celery, tomatoes, oranges, and melons.
What Does Water Do in My Body?
Water helps your body with the following:
Why Do I Need to Drink Enough Water Each Day?
You need water to replace what your body loses through normal everyday functions. Of course, you lose water when you go to the bathroom or sweat, but you even lose small amounts of water when you exhale. You need to replace this lost water to prevent dehydration.
Your body also needs more water when you are --
To help you stay hydrated during prolonged physical activity or when it is hot outside, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 recommend these two steps:
Also, when you are participating in vigorous physical activity, it's important to drink before you even feel thirsty. Thirst is a signal that your body is on the way to dehydration. For more information, visit Fit Facts, Healthy Hydration from the American Council on Fitness.
Some people may have fluid restrictions because of a health problem, such as kidney disease. If your healthcare provider has told you to restrict your fluid intake, be sure to follow that advice.
Tips for Increasing Your Fluid Intake by Drinking More Water
Under normal conditions, most people can drink enough fluids to meet their water needs. If you are outside in hot weather for most of the day or doing vigorous activity, you may need to increase your fluid intake.
If you think you're not getting enough water each day, the following tips may help:
Do Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Count?
Although beverages that are sweetened with sugars do provide water, they usually have more calories than unsweetened beverages. To help with weight control, you should consume beverages and foods that don't have added sugars.
Examples of beverages with added sugars:
Visit Rethink Your Drink for more information about the calories in beverages and how you can make better drink choices to reduce your calorie intake.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.