Many fruits and veggies that are 85–95 percent water (like watermelon and spinach) can add to your daily intake. Broth and soups count, too. Ditto coffee and tea, but go easy on high-calorie add-ins. Caffeine also acts as a diuretic, causing urination, and can lead to dehydration, if you drink it in excess. Sugar substitutes can also be very dehydrating, so be cautious with artificial or “no calorie” sweeteners.
On average, men need about 13 cups of total beverages per day and women require nine, but this really varies. Most people fall somewhere in between, depending upon individual body size and activity. Think ½ oz. of fluid daily for each pound of body weight, and up to 1 oz. for each pound of body weight if you’re extremely active in warm conditions. Increase to an extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups each for short spurts of exercise. Working out longer? Use a low-sugar or (if diabetic) no-sugar-added sports drink with sodium to replace the salt lost in sweat. With your doctor’s input, gear your water amount to your current state of health (especially if you have a chronic condition like heart or kidney disease), and environment.
Re-use and wash glass or stainless steel bottles. (They won’t break down and leach in bacteria, like plastic containers.) If you do use a plastic name-brand bottle, keep it cool, and employ the “one and done” rule: drink, then toss.
Water transports nutrients in and waste out of the body, helps us maintain a normal temperature, lubricates joints, cushions vital organs, and more. Drink it up!
By Lisa Miceli Feliciano