We can live for several weeks without food but we can only live a few days without water. More than half the body’s weight is water. Why does our body need water? It actually performs more than one function. It helps move food through the body, regulates the body temperature and also helps in eliminating body wastes. The body loses and needs to replace two to three quarts of water every day. Working or playing in the summer heat can cause you to lose even more water.
Where do we get water? We get some water from the foods we eat and of course from what we drink. We need to drink six to eight glasses of liquid each day. Fruit juice, milk, watermelon and, of course, water will provide the liquids we need. Beverages with caffeine, such as ice tea or sodas make the body lose more water so should not be counted. Cool drinks are used better by the body than warm ones.
Don’t wait till you feel thirsty to take a drink. It is too late then. If you are playing or exercising, it’s important to replace the water you lose through sweating. When you drink enough water to no longer feel thirsty, you still have not replaced all the water lost. In hot weather, you should drink water before you exercise or play. When exercising or playing in the heat, drink half a of glass of water every 15 minutes. Be sure to continue to drink water after you have exercised to replace all the fluids you have lost.
Be sure to take water with you when you go to the park, lake, ride your bicycle or other summer activity. This is especially important if you will be gone for several hours. In the summer time, it is always a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you.
Some people measure 8 cups of water into a container. All during the day they drink from that container until all the water is gone. That way they are positive that they have had their 8 cups of water.