We’ve all heard the importance of drinking water and our need to drink 8 glasses each day.  While water is definitely an essential nutrient that our bodies need, each person may need a different amount.  The amount of water you need to consume can vary based on your climate, activity level, and health conditions.  Water loss happens continuously through skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool.  Therefore, water needs to be continuously replenished to maintain good health.  The good news is that you don’t have to necessarily drink 8 glasses of water, you can get it from liquids or food, in addition to plain water.

Here are some of the ways that water functions in our bodies:

  •  Maintains the balance of body fluids such as those involved in digestion, transportation of nutrients, circulation and the regulating of body temperature.
  • Can help control calorie intake.  Substituting water for higher calorie drinks can have a significant impact of daily caloric consumption.  Foods with high water content (fruits, vegetables, soups, and beans) are absorbed more slowly by the body and will help you feel full.
  • Helps energize and contract muscles.  Dehydration can cause muscles to fatigue and cramp.
  • Helps keep skin looking good.  dehydration causes the skin to look dry and wrinkled.
  • Helps the kidneys flush toxics and waste products out of the body.

So how can you add more water to your diet?

  • Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  • Choose a beverage that you enjoy.  Water is best but milk and fruit juices also contain a large amount of water.  Alcohol does not count.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables (watermelon is an excellent choice).
  • Always keep a bottle of water with you.
  • Set a timer to remind you to drink at scheduled times.
  • Add lemons, limes, or cucumbers to your water.
  • Purchase a bottle the size of your water goal.
  • Drink with a straw – you’ll take bigger gulps and drink more.

Do you drink enough water each day?  What one small change could you make today to consume more?

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