Water makes the planet Earth special in the cosmos.
is your body's principal chemical component and makes
up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system
in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes
toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your
cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose
and throat tissues.
How much water do you need?
Try to drink a glass of water with each meal and between each meal.
day you lose water through your breath, perspiration,
urine and bowel movements. For your body to function
properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming
beverages and foods that contain water.
Replacement -- The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter (about 4 cups) of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids. Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
The "8 x 8 rule" -- Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). Although the approach really isn't supported by scientific evidence, many people use this easy-to-remember rule as a guideline for how much water, or other fluids, to drink.
Even apart from the above approaches, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.
Factors that influence water needs
You may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes
you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate
for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters
(about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for
short bouts of exercise. How much additional fluid you
need depends on how much you sweat during exercise,
and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts
of intense exercise, it's best to use a sports drink
that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium
lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia,
which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace
fluids after you're finished exercising.
Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones.
Stay Safely Hydrated
generally not a good idea to use thirst alone as a guide
for when to drink. By the time you become thirsty, you
may already be slightly dehydrated. Further, as you
get older your body is less able to sense dehydration
and send your brain signals of thirst. On the other
hand, excessive thirst and increased urination can be
signs of a more serious medical condition. Talk to your
doctor if you experience either.
Hold the Salt
When Thirsty, But Hold The Salt
WASHINGTON - Americans can let thirst be their guide in drinking but need to cut way back on salt, a panel of experts said Wednesday.
An obsession with "hydration" may have spawned an entire industry of little water bottles, water bottle holders and regular drink breaks at gyms, but most people get plenty of fluids, the Institute of Medicine panel said.
But nearly all U.S. and Canadian adults get far more salt than recommended, and too little potassium, the panel of experts said.
The Institute, an independent body that advises the federal government on health matters, set general recommendations for water intake based on dozens of studies that show women need about 91 ounces on average of water a day and men need 125 ounces.
Food, coffee and even beer or other drinks all contribute, so it is impossible to say how many glasses of plain water someone should drink, the panel said. Only those who are very physically active or who live in hot climates may need to drink more water, the researchers said.
"While drinking water is a frequent choice for hydration, people also get water from juice, milk, coffee, tea, soda, fruits, vegetables, and other foods and beverages as well," Dr. Lawrence Appel, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and chairman of the panel, said in a statement.
"Moreover, we concluded that on a daily basis, people get adequate amounts of water from normal drinking behavior -- consumption of beverages at meals and in other social situations -- and by letting their thirst guide them."
But the panel said most North Americans eat far too much salt, much of it in processed foods.
Healthy 19- to 50-year-old adults should consume 3.8 grams of salt a day. Any more can, in some people, lead to high blood pressure, which in turn causes stroke, heart and kidney disease.
panel of advisers, which included experts on nutrition,
pediatrics, geriatrics and other areas, said the most
salt anyone should eat a day is 5.8 grams.
Canadian adults consume between 5.1 and 9.7 grams a day.
"Older individuals, African Americans, and people with chronic diseases including hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease are especially sensitive to the blood pressure-raising effects of salt and should consume less than the upper limit," the panel said in a statement.
It said more than 95 percent of American and 75 percent of American women get more than this.
Americans get far too little potassium every day --
adding to their risk of high blood pressure and bone
loss, the panel found.
The typical Western diet is high in salt and low in potassium -- just the opposite of scientific studies have shown is needed for good health, the panel said.
is needed to find ways to help people select better
food choices to reduce their salt intake and boost their
potassium consumption," Appel said.
*Consultation with a health care professional should occur before applying adjustments or treatments to the body, consuming medications or nutritional supplements and before dieting, fasting or exercising. None of these activities are herein presented as substitutes for competent medical treatment.