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How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day? For years, the standard was eight glasses a day.
But no single formula fits everyone.
In fact, the right amount of water required to keep you properly hydrated and your body cells healthy depends on several factors, including age, gender, size, your level of activity and even the weather, says Fraser Health dietitian Lori Smart.
“For adults, it’s recommended that you should drink a minimum of nine cups of fluid a day — more if you’re bigger, if you exercise and if it’s hot out,” Smart says.
And the fluid doesn’t necessarily have to be H2O. Healthy drinks – like milk, fruit juice, soups, coffee and tea – qualify. But water is better.
“If people want to reach for something, water is the best thing,” Smart says.
When you choose juice, stick to 100 per cent natural juice and avoid fluids that contain additives and have lots of sugar. Pop is loaded with sugar – one can has up to 10 teaspoons.
Water makes up about 70 per cent of a person’s body weight, so it’s no wonder that water is vital to life and a healthy body. Every system in your body depends on water.
It flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Water also helps you maintain body temperature and aids in digestion.
Lack of water leads to dehydration and even mild dehydration can sap your energy and leave you feeling sluggish.
Thirst is a sign of dehydration, marked by a dry mouth and lips.
“Chances are if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” Smart says.
To prevent the onset of dehydration, she recommends you drink water throughout the day. That way, you’ll easily reach the nine-cup recommended amount without really trying.
Start with a glass of water after you get up in the morning. Drink another glass before bedtime. Drink a glass of water before meals and keep a glass of water beside your desk at work.
In our health and fitness obsessed culture, many of us walk around with water bottles everywhere we go. Is it necessary though to hydrate all day long and is there such a thing as drinking too much water — to the point of it being harmful?
Hyponatremia, or water intoxication, is a serious complication that can result from drinking too much water. But unless you’re an elite athlete in training or a marathon runner, hyponatremia isn’t generally something to worry about as long as you exercise some common sense.
Smart says the average person’s body can absorb more than nine cups of water a day, within reason, without harm.
“If you drink more, your body is built to deal with it,” she says.
w Anyone wanting further information can call Dial-A-Dietitian at 604-732-9191. They have dietitians on staff that can answer very specific questions.
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