Benefit from Healthy Hydration

water dietitians-0613-large (2)Did you know that water is the most widely consumed beverage in the world? Staying well hydrated is so important to good health since losing as little as 1 to 2% of body weight from fluids can impair physical performance and our ability to think.[1] If you are like most people, about 80% of your total fluid intake comes from drinking water and other beverages. [2] Beverages also make up an important part of your calorie intake with as much as 20% of daily calories coming from what you drink. If you are watching your calories satisfy your thirst with water, a calorie free way to quench your thirst!4

Healthy Hydration benefits[3]

 Your body is made up of nearly two-thirds water so it is really important that you get enough fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated.  Remember ‘fluid’ includes water and additional drinks that give you water such as tea and other beverages. You also get water from the foods you eat. On average most people get about 80% of their fluid intake form drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% from foods.2

Be sure to get enough fluids to be at your best in these important areas of health and wellness: [3]

  • Physical performance – under relatively mild levels of dehydration, individuals engaging in rigorous physical activity will experience decrements in performance related to reduced endurance, increased fatigue
  • Cognitive performance – dehydration changes some cognitive functions such as your ability to concentrate, alertness and short-term memory
  • Gut health – fluids can aid in digestion
  • Skin – the skin contains approximately 30% water, which contributes to plumpness, elasticity, and resiliency

How much fluid do you need a day? [4]

Your body loses water when you’re breathing, sweating and getting rid of waste. If you lose more fluid than you what your drink and eat, your body can get dehydrated and you may feel tired, get headaches and not perform at your best. NOTE:  You can become dehydrated even before you feel it. That is why it’s important to drink fluids regularly, even before you feel thirsty. So you may be wondering how much fluid you need. Your fluid needs are influenced by a number of factors including your age, gender activity level and the weather! (Hot and humid weather can increase your fluid needs.) Healthy adults should consume between 9 and 12 cups of fluids every day. Here are general guidelines for fluid intake to keep your body hydrated. [4] Remember fluids include water, tea and other beverages:

  •  Aim for 3 L (12 cups) fluids for men 19 years old and over each day
  • Aim for 2.2 L (9 cups) of fluids for women 19 years old and over each day.
[1] Liebermann HR. Hydration and Cognition: A critical Review and Recommendations for Future Research. J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:555S-61S.
[2] The Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulfate. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2004.
[3] Barry M. Popkin, Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg, Water, Hydration and Health, Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68(8): 439–458.
 [4] Dietitians of Canada, Guidelines for Drinking fluids to Stay Hydrated, Nov. 27, 2014