The human body is approximately 65 % water. While we can live a long time without food, we can only survive a few days without water. Water performs a lot of functions that are critical to staying healthy. Water helps maintain body temperature. Water also helps in waste removal, digestion, helps carry nutrients, and helps keep your joints moist and protected from injury.
How do we lose water?
We lose water through perspiration, excretion of urine, feces and evaporation from the skin.
When do I need to drink water?
You need to drink at least 8 glasses of fluids throughout the day. Thirst is the body sign that it is time for a drink. Thirst may not keep up with your body’s needs in hot weather. A good way to tell if you are drinking enough is to look at your urine. If your urine is clear or pale yellow in color, you are probably drinking the right amount of water. If your urine is dark yellow, your body may not have the right amount of fluids. You should make an effort to drink more fluids.
I don’t really like the taste of water. What can I do?
• Keep a pitcher of cold water in the refrigerator to drink from throughout the day.
• Add a slice of lemon or lime to your water.
• Keep a glass of cold water next to your favorite chair. Take a sip pretty often.
• Drink herbal tea (check the label as most herbal teas do not have caffeine in them).
• Drink hot water with lemon in it.
• Take your favorite fruit juice and make ice cubes with it. Then add to your glass of water.
• Some water can come from foods such as milk, juice, non caffeine drinks.
Do I have to drink bottled water?
No. Tap water is fine if you like the taste of it.
When would I need to drink extra water?
If you are taking medicine, you may need to take it with water and may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun or exercise alot , you will also need to drink more water and wear a hat to help keep you cool.
Sources: Connecticut Extension Service and Kentucky Extension Service