I’ll bet that when you saw this title, you knew I was referring to drinking water. Most people assume that they need 8 glasses of water a day, but that recommendation should not be based upon a one-size-fits-all prescription. In many cases, this amount is underestimated.
Water is essential for everyone. Every system in your body depends on water, the vehicle that carries nutrients to your cells and carries toxins away. There is no other nutrient that is so essential to health and yet contains absolutely no calories, protein, fat, carbs, sodium, sugar, additives, or preservatives. Although you know I’m always complaining about the misuse and overuse of the word, “natural” on food labels, water is truly a natural food.
So how much water do you really need? This answer depends on your age, where you live, your state of health, your activity level, and how you live your life. Your body needs to replenish the water it loses from perspiration, breath, urine and bowel movements. The elderly may need more water due to a decreased ability to detect thirst with age. In fact, I have found that some older adults purposely try not to drink water because they don’t want to urinate as frequently. It is also particularly important to pay attention to your fluid needs if you live in a warm climate or if you’re exercising, you have to replace fluids regularly to prevent dehydration (see symptoms of dehydration in my previous blog.)
The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is approximately 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. Although any beverage hydrates, no beverage excels at this job as water. You’ll find that sugary beverages rarely quench thirst as well as water and sweet drinks come in concert with unwanted calories and without nutritional value. In fact, studies have shown that if you swap one sugared beverage a day for a year for water, you can save hundreds of calories. By doing this simple exchange, not only will you not gain weight, but you can gain greater a sense of well-being.
Why not take the Nestle Pure Life Hydration movement and pledge to make a simple switch and swap? Go to www.facebook.com/nestlepurelife and see what a difference drinking water will make in your life.