Is The Water You Drink Important For Your Health?

We Are NOT Getting Enough Water

Most of us have been taught or just intuitively know that drinking enough water is necessary in order to maintain good health.  Despite that, medical professionals say that as many as 70% of Americans suffer from “chronic dehydration”

The Importance of Water

Water sustains all life. Next to oxygen it is the most important nutrient the body needs. In the total absence of water, dehydration and a breakdown of normal functioning occurs which in a matter of a few days leads to death. Fortunately most of us are getting some form of water from food and drinks on a daily basis

Last week saw an alarming spike in the number of patients admitted for dehydration, fatigue and heatstroke in hospitals across the Southwest, with several major cities recording temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.   But did you know that when it comes to drinking enough water, most Americans consume far below the recommended daily minimum, regardless of season?

CBS reports that while most people know perfectly well that water is the way to go, up to 75 percent of the American population fall short of the amount prescribed by the Institute of Medicine – which, in medical terms, means that most people in the U.S are functioning in a chronic state of dehydration.

“60 percent of our body is composed of water, 75 percent in our muscles, 85 percent in our brains, it’s like oil to a machine,” explained Dr. Roberta Lee.

When we become dehydrated, our blood and bodies become more acidic, which negatively affects our immune systems, aging, and many more things.  It can even cause heart failure.

So…. How much water should we be drinking?  Many of us were taught, in school, that we should drink 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day.  Others were told that should be 10 glasses.  The problem is that there is no “one fits all” answer! 

It depends on several factors, activity level and/or temperature (which effects how much water you lose through perspiration and your weight are among those factors.  It is now accepted by physiologists that a good rule of thumb for determining how much water you need to drink every day for normal activity and temperature   is “one ounce for every half pound of your body weight”.  In other words, a woman weighing 120 pounds should drink a minimum of 60 ounces of water per day, for a man weighing 180 pounds that would be 90 ounces per day.  Remember, this is the minimum recommended amount and needs to be adjusted for increased temperature and activity levels.

A word of caution:  Beverages such as soda’s and coffee DO NOT count towards this number because these beverages are DEHYDRATING!

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