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How Much Water Is Enough Water?

How much water you need to drink everyday depends upon many factors.  In truth, your water intake depends upon your lifestyle. This includes, your heath, how active you are, what you eat as well as where you live.

Health benefits of water

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight.  Every system in your body is dependent on water for normal functioning. Examples of this include:
  • Provides moisture for ear, nose and throat tissues,
  • Carries nutrients to your cells,
  • Helps to flush toxins out of the vital organs,
  • Carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells,
  • Helps prevent constipation.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, which means you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions.

How much water do you need?

Water is lost every day through breathing, perspiration, urine and bowel movements.  In order for your body to function properly, you will need to replenish your water supply by consuming enough foods that contain water and healthy beverages. 

Factors that influence water needs.

As mentioned, you may need to modify your total fluid intake depending on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Exercise. When you exercise, you sweat.  You will need to drink water to replace this lost liquid.
  • Intense exercise. During bouts of intense exercise, it is a good idea to replenish your sodium levels that are lost during intense sweating, with a sports drink.  Always make sure the sports drink of choice is not high in sugar. 
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat.  During winter time, heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture and become dry. It is interesting to note that altitudes which are greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination as well as more rapid breathing.  These bodily functions may use up fluid reserves and will need to be replenished.
  • Illnesses or health conditions. When you have a fever or are vomiting or have diarrhea, you will lose fluids. In all of these cases, you should drink more water.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant will need additional fluids to stay hydrated. During breast feeding, large amounts of fluid are used, it is therefore important to remember to have a bottle of water handy when breastfeeding.

Beyond the tap: Other sources of water.

Beverages such as herbal tea is considered substantial fluid. Water is still your best bet because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Staying safely hydrated.

Generally, you are drinking enough if your urine is colourless or very light yellow.
To keep hydrated, make sure your body has the fluids it needs and make water your beverage of choice.  It's also a good idea to:
  • Drink a glass of water with each meal and between meals.
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise.

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