Water, water everywhere, but do we drink it? Water is the most dispensable nutrient in our body, so it’s imperative that we consume enough fluid every single day. Many people are not meeting the recommended daily intake for water. It is advised to drink about 3.5 liters (roughly 15-17 cups) of fluid per day for men, and 2.5 liters (roughly 11-13 cups) of fluid per day for women. For those of us who are athletes or highly active, these recommended amounts are even greater.
So what are the roles of water in the body? Well for one thing, the body is composed of about 60% water, so frequent hydration keeps this amount consistent. Water is critical in metabolism and proper body functioning. It lubricates tissues, moistens the skin, forms saliva, dissolves nutrients, removes wastes, aids oxygen delivery, regulates internal temperature, synthesizes various substances, and maintains healthy cells. Drinking plenty of water is also one of the best ways to ward off or recover from illness.
Well if water is so vital and so easily accessible, why is adequate hydration an issue? With such a busy atmosphere, often we forget to drink enough fluids or don’t balance out our calories with the right amount of water. Keep in mind that water can also be found in a variety of solid foods, such as fruits, vegetables, potatoes, cooked grains, or legumes. Other beverages as well supply enough water like milk, juice, or tea. Consuming more water helps us to meet this fluid deficit.
Depending on where you are throughout the day, it may be hard to stay properly hydrated since we are a society that is always on the move. Take advantage of the nearby water fountains that are found outdoors, in restaurants, gas stations, or supermarkets. Start carrying a water bottle with you when you go places in case you will be in an area where water is not easily accessible. Avoid eating foods that are high in sodium or have a low moisture content. The more calorie dense and dry the food, the more water you will need to even it out. If you are at home more often, you might want to invest in a humidifier. Being shut inside for many hours at a time could dry out your skin and cause the closed space to become stuffy.
We often don’t get enough fluid because we are not thirsty, but sometimes our bodies trigger hunger when we actually need water. This is your body telling you to drink up! Try out different ways to meet your fluid needs and see which one works best for you so that you can be your most healthy self!