Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. If you feel thirsty, it means you are starting to become dehydrated. Other symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration are a dry, sticky mouth, sleepiness, dry skin, headache, constipation and dizziness.

The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day; for women about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day. Check with your physician if you participate in an intense exercise routine, have health issues or are pregnant or nursing as these recommendations may change.

On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are 90 percent or more water by weight

Water is your best choice because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Generally, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow, this signals adequate intake of fluids.

Amp Up Your Water Intake:

  • Add your own flavoring; crush some fresh mint or squeeze a lime, orange or lemon into your glass.
  • Get an app on your phone to help track your water intake
  • Buy a filter container to keep on your desk at work
  • Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before bed