A Few Facts About Water

Lately I've realized that I do not drink enough water. I've been reading some books about beauty and these books all emphasize the importance of water in obtaining clear skin and healthy hair. These aren't the only benefits of being well hydrated either. It also improves your overall health and can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight.

The problem is that I've always heard different things about how much water a person should drink. I decided to check the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for water intake. Here is what I found out and a few other facts about water as well:

It is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. I'm pretty sure that I'm one of them. 

How much should I drink each day?
Women should drink about 9 cups of fluids per day
Men should drink about 13 cups of fluids per day

Does all of this need to come from drinking water alone?
All fluids count toward the total, not just water
On average, food provides about 20 percent of your water intake

Do I need to drink more if I exercise?
Yes, to compensate for sweating. 
For short bouts of exercise you need to have an extra 1.5-2.5 cups of water 
For intense bouts of exercise you should have a sports drink containing sodium

Do I need to drink more if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Yes, in both cases. 
Pregnant women should drink about 10 cups per day
Women who are breastfeeding should drink about 13 cups per day

Can I drink too much water?
Yes but it's rare in healthy adults who eat an average diet. 
It is more common in endurance athletes

Tips for getting enough fluids
1. Drink a glass of water or other low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal
2. Drink water before, during, and after exercise


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