The Wonder of Water

How often do you see this on a nutrition label? Not very often. Let me tell you why: there is nothing on Earth that is quite like water. That is why. Water is the bombdiggidity! (woah! throwback!!)

So here are some facts you may not know or may have forgotten about the most wonderful substance on Earth:

As humans (I presume…), our bodies are made of between 60-70% water. Blood is mostly water, and your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.

You think you’re supposed to drink 8 glasses or 64 ounces of water a day, right? Sure, it’s a good start, but a healthy person can drink up to 3 gallons of water in a single day. That is 384 ounces! Drink up!

Everybody is different, though. 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 gives 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.

This water calculator can help you determine how much water you need to drink each day.

Soft drinks, coffee, and tea, while made up almost entirely of water, also contain caffeine. Caffeine can act as a mild diuretic, preventing water from traveling to necessary locations in the body.

By the time a person feels thirsty, his or her body has lost over 1 percent of its total water amount. 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.

The weight a person loses directly after intense physical activity is weight from water, not fat.

It may be hard at first for you to drink enough water on a busy day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. It’s normal for me to have a water bottle at work, at home, in my car cup holder and in the trunk, just in case I forget mine for Zumba. (Like last week!) My favorite “bottle” is a reusable cup with a lid & straw from Bed,Bath, & Beyond.

Always make sure you have a water bottle handy during exercise! My friend, Brooke, carries around gallon jugs of drinking water where ever she goes. It looks funny, but I’ve never seen her dehydrated! Plus it is handy when I need a refill.

If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavor. There are some brands such as Propel and Crystal Light that offer flavored water, but watch for extra calories.

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