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Health Benefits of Drinking Water

 by Shereen Jegtvig



Your body is estimated to be about 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.




Signs of Dehydration


You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating, and if you are very active, you lose more water than if you are sedentary. Diuretics, such as caffeine pills and alcohol, result in the need to drink more water because they induce fluid loss.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include chronic pains in joints and muscles, lower back pain, headaches and constipation. A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, indicates that you may not be getting enough water. Note that riboflavin, a B vitamin, will make your urine bright yellow. Certain medications can change the color of urine as well. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, and in fact, you need water before you feel thirsty.



How Much Water do You Need to Drink?


Some experts believe you can estimate the amount of water you need by taking your weight in pounds and dividing that number in half. That give you the number of ounces you may want to drink each day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you might want to drink at least 80 ounces of water or other fluids per day.


If you exercise, you should drink another eight ounce glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water. When you are traveling on an airplane, it may be good to drink eight ounces of water for every hour you are on board the plane. If you live in an arid climate, you should add another two servings per day. As you can see, your daily need for water can can change from day to day.


At least twenty percent of the water you need will come from the foods you eat. The rest will come from the beverages you drink. Water is probably the best choice; sweetened soft drinks and sodas have added sugar that adds extra calories. Sports drinks contain electrolytes and may be beneficial; just look out for added sugar and calories that you may not want. Fruit and vegetable juice are good because they have vitamins and nutrients (read labels, however -- vegetable juices may be high in sodium).


Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee count too, but too much caffeine can make you feel jittery.




How To Drink Enough Water

It may be difficult to drink enough water on a busy day. Be sure you have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle for water with you when you are working, traveling, or exercising. If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavor. There are some brands of flavored water available, but watch for extra calories.











Sources:
Armstrong LE, Pumerantz AC, Roti MW, Judelson DA, Watson G, Dias JC, Sokmen B, Casa DJ, Maresh CM, Lieberman H, Kellogg M. "Fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration during 11 days of controlled caffeine consumption." Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Jun;15(3):252-65.


Institute of Medicine. "Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Pbotassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate." Accessed March 15, 2007. .Spigt MG, Kuijper EC, Schayck CP, Troost J, Knipschild PG, Linssen VM, Knottnerus JA. "Increasing the daily water intake for the prophylactic treatment of headache: a pilot trial." Eur J Neurol. 2005 Sep;12(9):715-8.
















DRINK LOTS OF WATER!!! :)












1 Response to "Health Benefits of Drinking Water"

Usman Shakil said...

How To Maximize The Effectiveness Of Drinking Water

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