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Do you remember the time when you first learned that the body was roughly 70 percent water? I do, and it had a profound effect upon me; ever since I have been acutely aware of how much water I drink each day. So how much water do you really need each day? That really depends on your size (weight) and the amount of exercise you are doing. Generally, it is recommended that you drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses a day. That's great for the average 120-160 pound person. What should be recommended is for a person to drink half their weight in ounces. Example: A 130 pound women would drink 65 ounces of water a day, but a 200 pound woman would drink 100 ounces a day. It only makes sense it would vary according to weight and activity.
Why do I need so much water? It is essential for transporting nutrients, including oxygen and glucose, through the blood. Not only does this process keep us alive, but it helps lubricate joints and cushion organs. Water is also a vehicle by which the body eliminates waste (via sweat and urine). If you don't get enough fluid, your body can become dehydrated, a condition that can quickly lead to fatigue and low blood pressure. Signs of chronic dehydration include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, dry mouth, nose or vagina, and a loss of skin elasticity. Test your skin's elasticity by pinching the skin on the top of your hand. If it doesn't bounce back right away, you may be dehydrated. Don't depend on thirst to tell you when you need to drink. By the time thirst is triggered, dehydration has already begun. The best indicator is the color and volume of your urine. If it is dark and there is little of it, you need more fluids. A large volume of light yellow urine every two to four hours means that you're drinking enough. What I've learned is to try to drink about half a cup of water every 30 minutes during the day. What might help is to fill a container with the amount you need for your weight and set a timer for 30 minutes until you're accustomed to drinking like this all day.
Seven Amazing Facts about Water:
1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.
2. Even mild dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
3. One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
4. Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
5. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of those who suffer from it.
6. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy, short-term memory, trouble in basic math and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
7. Drinking 8 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and bladder cancer by 50%.
So think about these facts the next time you walk past a soda machine!