Getting your daily recommended intake of water can change how you feel 

Published 8:51 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Winning with water


When you’re thinking about good nutrition for good health you can’t forget about water. Most of us hear early on that we should drink water for good health, but it’s easy to forget why it is so important.

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More than two-thirds of our bodies are made of water. It helps lubricate our joints and without water, our organs could not properly function. Water is also essential in helping us remove waste from our bodies.

If you don’t consume enough water, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, mood changes, fever, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and kidney problems among others. For anyone who ever suffers from a headache try this simple trick: Drink 8-16 ounces of water and see if you still have a headache 10 minutes later. Also try drinking 8-16 ounces of water when you think you’re hungry because chances are you’re not hungry, you’re just thirsty.

Drinking soda and other sugar sweetened beverages is obviously not the best for your health for many reasons. Sugar sweetened beverages are basically empty calories. Empty calories are basically calories consumed through foods that provide little to no nutrient value. Water has no calories at all and it’s exactly what your body craves.

Fruit juices are good to drink in extreme moderation. Fruit juices are high in sugar and do not have the fiber component that eating an actual piece of fruit would have. Soda and energy drinks are full of added sugar increasing your risk for diabetes. Drinking water can clear your skin, assists in digestion, improves focus and memory, keeps your kidneys healthy and reduces your risk for cancer. You always win with water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests adults consume between 91 and 125 fluid ounces of water each day on average. Individuals who choose water when they are thirsty and at meal time usually have no problem drinking enough daily. 

Water may also be consumed through healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that your daily intake amount can fluctuate depending upon your weight, age, sex, activity level and certain medical conditions. You will also need to consume more water if you are in a hot climate, are physically active, running a fever, or losing fluids through vomiting and/or diarrhea.

The following are some suggestions on how to increase your and your family’s fluid intake: 

• Keep a bottle of water with you.

• Eat more foods with high water content like fruit and vegetables.

• Add fruit to water for flavor.

• Give children water when they are thirsty.

• Choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages when eating out. Not only will you consume fewer calories, but water is free in most restaurants.

It’s amazing how much better you feel when your body has the nutrients it needs and that includes staying hydrated. Your body needs water to function so make the right choice and drink water. 

A great way to start drinking more water is to swap one sugar sweetened beverage such as soda or juice for water. I’m never going to tell you to completely cut something out of your diet. This is another little plug for moderation. Drink one less sugar sweetened beverage per day. 

Try and make small changes to increase your water intake and you’ll be drinking more water before you know it.

Here is a recipe from Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud that could help you increase water intake. 

Strawberry green tea

13 cups water

13 green tea bags, regular size

1 pound fresh strawberries

1 cup honey

1 lemon, optional

Yield: 16, 8 ounce servings

Wash strawberries and remove the tops. Chop the berries with a hand chopper in a large pot. Add water to the chopped berries and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 5 minutes. Add tea bags and submerge. Steep tea for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the tea through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth-lined colander into a 1-gallon pitcher. Add honey and stir until dissolved. Chill and serve. Garnish with a lemon slice or fresh strawberry if desired. Makes 16 8-ounce servings. 

Nutritional Analysis: 70 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 0 g protein, 30 % Daily Value for vitamin C

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