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What You Need to Know About Water, Part 1

You hear it everyday from everyone from passersby or news reporters, health officials, friends and family, Make sure you drink enough water!  But what does that really mean? The average person loses about 2 Ā½ quarts of water every day (even more if it's hot & humid outside) and  therefore, it is necessary to constantly be replacing it.

Some basic facts:
An average male is approximately 60% water weight so men should consume about 3.7 liters (about 13 cups) daily.

An average female is approximately 50% water weight so women should consume about 2.7 liters (about 9 cups) daily.  

You can also make a guess on how much water you should be consuming based on your weight. Basically, drink half your body weight in ounces every day. For example: a 130-lb female would drink 65 ounces or 8 cups per day.

Here are some tips to help you achieve your goal in a healthy way:

  1. Keep a water bottle or glass of water close to you at work - subconsciously you will drink more just because it is there
  2. Instead of a "coffee" break, try a "water" break
  3. Drink sparkling water with a splash of lemon at social gatherings, instead of other drinks
Also, your daily intake of water (or other forms of liquid) can come from foods and other beverages.  To minimize excessive calories, though, it is best to consume low or zero calorie beverages.  One single soda can add an additional 150 non-nutritive calories to your day.

Where does all this water go in the body?

  •  66% of a person's total body weight = water
o    65% of total body water = intracellular
o    35% of total body water = extracellular
  • Bones = 32% water
  • Fat is anhydrous (contains no water) and only contains about 10% water
  • Blood = 93% water
  • Obese individuals = 40% water weight
  • Athletes are approximately 70% water

Water is necessary for almost every function in the body including digestion, absorption, circulation and excretion.  Water is the primary transporter of vital nutrients throughout the body.  Water helps to maintain normal body temperature and is essential for carrying wastes out of the body.  All these reasons are why water must be continuously replaced.  

We are a bottled water society.  Americans spent more than $15 million dollars in 2009 on bottled water - which was more than iPods or movie tickets.  From a practical standpoint, it does not matter where your water is coming from as long as it is safe to drink.  

There are many different types of water to choose from.  It may be a bit confusing and frustrating if you pay too close attention.  There is tap water which can be hard or soft, bottled water which can be artesian, deionized or demineralized water, ground water, mineral water, natural-spring water, sparkling water and steam-distilled water.   There are several options for home water treatments as well; from activated carbon, carbon filtration, distillation, reverse osmosis and water softeners.  It can be difficult to decide which is best or the healthiest choice for me and my family.  In the follow up to this article, I will go into detail about each of these different types of water.  

In the meantime, be sure to drink the water you need to stay healthy.  

Angela Hattaway is a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer with over 15 years experience. She got her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Stephen F. Austin State University and she also has a Master's Degree in Business with an emphasis on Healthcare. Angela is experienced in working with both children and adults and loves working with clients to help them set realistic goals and expectations. She is passionate about nutrition and fitness and feels this comes through when she works with people. Angela loves giving clients the tools, motivation and encouragement they need to be successful throughout their lives. Visit her blog at blog.ultimatenutritionnfitness.com. She can be reached via email at at foodjunkie@nutritionnfitenss.com.

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