Sometimes we forget that water is an important drink that needs to be consumed everyday. Especially here in Florida where the hot and humid climate causes us to sweat and reach for other drinks that may not be so healthy. Sodas, milk, and juices may add unnecessary daily calories which can lead to weight gain. The CDC states that replacing a 20 oz. sugar sweetened soda can save you 240 calories.1 Water, on the other hand, has no calories, quenches thirst, and is a healthier drink.
Water is about 60% of your body weight and the body needs this large amount to function properly.2 Some important functions that water does is: help control body temperature, carry nutrients around the body, help to regulate blood pressure, and protect joints.2 Also, the body’s organs contain mostly water with the heart and brain having 73% water and skin containing 64% water.2
Throughout the day, the body loses water both noticeably and without a person noticing it. Unnoticeable ways are through breathing and bowel movements.1 Noticeable ways that water is lost is through urine and sweat.2 The body can lose at least 1050 mL, or 4 cups of water daily in a healthy, sedentary person.3 Because the body loses a good amount of water every day, it is important to replenish it by drinking enough.
How much is enough? The amount of water you need per day may depend on the climate you’re in, weight, exercise level, type of diet, and health status.1 Generally, a healthy person knows to drink water by becoming thirsty. Another way to know is by the color of urine and if it’s light amber or dark yellow. There is not a general daily water intake requirement due to a person’s individual needs.1 You may contact your physician for your specific water intake needs.
Water is found in both food and drinks so getting enough fluids throughout the day can be accomplished. Eating foods such as fruits and vegetables which have a large amount of water contributes to your water intake as well as other nutrients. Just remember that drinking plain water instead of sugar sweetened drinks throughout the day can reduce your daily calorie intake while it replenishes the body’s needs.
By Alisa Boderick
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Water and nutrition. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/nutrition/index.html.
- United States Geological Survey. The water in you: Water and the human body. Accessed September 23, 2020 from https://usgs.gov.
- Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. Washington, D.C.:The National Academies Press; 2005.