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Water - How Much to Drink

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Water, How Much to Drink, Why We Need to Drink and When.

Every one knows that without an intake of fluids our body would cease to work and we would die. But have you ever thought a little more into how much water we need to drink, that exercise immediately alters the quantity, as does the day's temperature? Do you know that it is beneficial to drink at certain times during the day?
If these questions interest you then read on.

Put very simply, our body is about 60% water, our body constanty loses water, and we need to replace that water before we become dehydrated. Do we always know when we are beginning to be hydrated? No we don't. We only know that we are becoming dehydrated after the process has started and we are feeling thirsty. Thirst is the first sympton that your body is short of fluids and it is preferable to maintain a regular intake of fluids according to our needs at the time so that we do not become thirsty.

Our Body is About 60% Water.

That may surprise you, after all your body feels solid and not like a sponge, but every cell in our body needs water. There is not a definitive answer to the question of how much water there is in the human body because the amount is influenced by many factors such as age, sex, fitness and health. As a guide we may accept the figure of about 60%, that our blood makes up about 7 or 8% of our body and is approximately 50% water, muscle tissue is about 75% water and even bones contain about 20% water. To maintain good health we need to ensure that our bodies are sufficiently hydrated.

So How Much Water do we Need to Drink.

Once again the answer is not definitive as we need to take heed of such things as the day temperature, humidity, our activity level, and any medication that we may be taking. Our body loses water every second of the day as we breath out moist air, we also perspire and we urinate to remove waste products, and we need to compensate for the loss. But we also need to be aware that an excessive intake of water over a short period of time can be harmful or even fatal and anyone who takes part in extreeme sports such as marathon running or other activity where there is a loss of body fluids over a prolonged period should obtain expert opinion and guidance regarding a drinking regime.

There many who advocate drinking eight 8ozs glasses or six to eight glasses of water every day, but this is rather simplistic and does not take into account the factors that contribute to dehydration. It is better to be aware of whether you are drinking or you are not drinking as the day progresses, and consider this in context with the day temperature, whether you are perspiring, whether you are in a hostile dry environment, or what your physical activity may be. One of the laws of nature is that evaporation causes cooling, and when  your body becomes too hot it begins to perspire. It is the evaporation of the perspiration on your skin that helps to cool your body, and it is for this reason that when you become hot and perspire you should increase your fluid intake to compensate for loss by perspiration.

As we age there is a tendency for the feeling of thirst to diminish and it advisable for older people to drink before experiencing a dry mouth or other syptems of thirst such as darkening of the urine or little urination

By accepting that 6 to 8 glasses of water per day may be a starting point, and then considering this together all of the other factors that may affect out hydration level, an adequate fluid intake should normally occur by spacing out the times when we drink, and being concious of the first feelings of thirst as the day progresses.

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