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Water, A Hot Weather Survival Tool!

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Water, A Hot Weather Survival Tool!

Well, we're in the thick of summer with hot sticky weather and another month to go. We've discussed the importance of water as a nutrient that is vital to our health, to our exercise program and every bodily function. This is even more important during hot humid weather such as we are having now. Here's a reminder again to drink up!

We've been told over and over, how we need 8 glasses of water per day ( I prefer water bottles myself). This is of course an estimate and not all our fluid needs are met through water. So, let's take a look at how much we are really taking in when we compare our intake with the recommendation.

Let's start with our 8 glasses, assuming we really are drinking 8 glasses to start with:

Drink coffee? Subtract one cup of water for every cup of coffee.

Drink tea other than herbal? Subtract 1/2 cup of water for every cup of tea.

Drink soda with caffeine (this includes both diet and regular)? Subtract a cup of water for every 10-12 ounces of soda.

Drank alcohol last night? Yep, subtract another cup of water for every drink.

Exercise for one hour? Subtract at least 2 cups of water for even moderate/light exercise. Longer or more intense exercise requires more water and/or if you sweat heavily. More water is required for outdoor exercise or exercise that is prolonged (hiking, or endurance events for example!).

Eight glasses of water per day is the general recommendation. Might you really need even more?

Eat very few fresh fruits and raw veggies? The 8 glasses is the general guideline if we are taking in foods with medium to high water content; if we are taking in other fluids such as milk, juice, soups etc.

Taking medications? Our kidneys flush out the metabolic products of medications so guess what, our kidneys will function better with extra water. Some medications may require more water than usual, so check with your doctor.

Have cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, etc.) Then extra water is especially important for you. Have you have eaten a high fat meal? Extra water will keep the blood flowing easier (reduces viscosity) for those at risk.

Pregnant or new mom breastfeeding? Extra water is needed for the extra blood volume that accompanies pregnancy, and for the high fluid content of breast milk.

So, did we have 3 cups of coffee today, exercise for an hour and have a few summer drinks last night? How many cups of water did you have, and how many additional cups of water did you need?

How many cups did you really drink?

Here's to keeping cool during this hot weather (water helps with this too), to our health and carrying that water bottle around more!


© Health News 2003 All Rights Reserved.

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