💧Discover, “Top 4 H2O tips, for sustained energy”.

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Drink 8 glasses of water a day! This is advice that is commonly given by your mom, friends, health care professionals, and really…everyone. But how much water should you really be consuming everyday? The answer is – it depends. There are a variety of factors to consider, including your level of activity, the climate you live in, and any health problems you may have.

Your body is approximately 60 percent water and every cell in your body needs water to function. Water is essential and it helps your body to:

  • Regulate temperature;
  • Lubricate and cushion your joints, spinal cord, and tissues;
  • Transport nutrients and oxygen through the body;
  • Carry away wastes; and
  • Improve brain function.

Proper hydration is also key for proper kidney function. The kidneys work more efficiently when the body has sufficient water intake and deprivation of fluids caused the kidneys to work harder as they become more stressed. Dehydration can also affect your brain by negatively impacting your visual perception, short-term memory, and psychomotor ability[1].

It is suggested that for every calorie you ought to consume, your body needs one milliliter of fluid. So, if you consume 2,000 calories a day, you need to intake two liters of fluid, which equates to eight and half cuts of water[2]. I bet you’re thinking, that sounds similar to the old adage of eight glasses per day. What this failed to consider, was the fluids obtained through food.

Previously, People were advised that caffeinated beverages, such as coffee or tea, negated the hydration benefits of those beverages. This is not substantiated by research and many individuals in North America get adequate water intake from beverages and food. However, the share of fluid intake from caloric beverages has drastically increased in recent years which has contributed to the obesity epidemic and consumption of these types of beverages should be significantly reduced if not completely avoided.

Aside from beverages, there are various types of food that contain high contents of water, some even close to the same percentage as plain water. Examples of these foods are:

  • Fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, apples, grapes, oranges, bananas, avocados, carrots, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, squash, spinach, and celery;
  • Dairy products such as fat-free milk, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and feta cheese;
  • Pasta;
  • Legumes; and
  • Salmon, chicken breasts, and ground beef.

Like anything, too much of it can have negative effects. There is little to support that additional water consumption above adequate intake will result in any additional benefits. Drinking water beyond your body’s basic needs has not been shown to help cure heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or chronic pain[3]. In order to get and keep hydrated, drink water throughout the day and consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed, whole foods. Increase your water intake if you live in a warm climate and when you are physically active. Try to limit your alcohol consumption and try avoid caloric beverages such as juice and pop.

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Written by:

EP Health Wellness Team

References:

[1] “How Much Water Do You Really Need?” 2014. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 32 (5): 1–5.

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

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