The power of water

We all know we need water to survive.  In truth, we need water to not only survive, but stay healthy.  Our bodies are comprised of between 50 percent and 70 percent of water and without it, we would not exist.  If you were to stop drinking water, within a very short timeframe dehydration would begin.  Symptoms include headaches, tiredness, and loss of concentration.  If you were to ignore these, you could eventually become constipated and in severe cases, have kidney stones.

Adequate water enables the body to rid itself of waste.  It helps us regulate our temperature.

Adults need approximately 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to maintain adequate hydration.  One of the easiest ways to tell if you need to drink more is to examine your urine.  The squeamish among us might quail at the prospect, but all it takes is a quick glance.  If it is a pale yellow then you’re probably fine.  If it is dark yellow in color, if it has an odor, or if there are bubbles then try to add an extra couple of glasses to your daily regimen.

Remember, you won’t feel thirsty until you are already dehydrated, so it is important to keep drinking water even before that sensation is triggered.

Increasing your water intake is simple to do and it only takes small changes.  Keep a glass (or a bottle) of water next to your bed, that way you can sip on it throughout the night.  In the morning if there is any left, finish it off.

You don’t like the taste of your tap water?  Before you start spending money on the finest bottles of water money can buy, try a brita filter.  We keep a canister in our refrigerator and not only is it less expensive, but it’s better for the environment.  If that doesn’t work, try flavoring the water.  Citrus slices always work, but if that doesn’t float your boat, you could always pretend you live at a snooty spa and use cucumber slices for a refreshing change.  We like berry water in our household.  Just throw some frozen berries into a pitcher of water and you’ve got a colorful refreshing treat.  Just use your imagination!

Keep a refillable bottle with you, either in your car or at your desk, or even in your purse.  You’ll be more likely to drink water if it is readily available.

Still reluctant to drink water?  Eating more fruits and vegetables will help as these have high water content.  It might not get you all the way, but it will help.

H2Oh really? – water factoids

The elderly have decrease thirst response and should pay close attention to how much water they consume to ensure they drink enough.

Coffee, teas, and soda do not count towards your daily water intake.  These drinks act as diuretics and can actually decrease the amount of water in your body.

The more fiber you eat, the more water you need to drink.

Consider ourselves lucky that we live in a place where we can take for granted safe drinking water.  Nearly one billion people around the world do not have access to clean water sources.  This is approximately 1/8th of the world’s population.

Ancient Romans had better quality water than half the world’s population.

Less than 1% of the world’s fresh water (or about 0.007% of all water on earth) is readily accessible for direct human use.

Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater by far: about 70% of all freshwater withdrawals go to irrigated agriculture.

At home, the average American uses between 100 and 175 gallons of water a day. That is less than 25 years ago, but it does not include the amount of water used to feed and clothe us.  Consider that someone in a third world country slum may only get to use 8 gallons per day for all of their water needs.

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