Facts About Water
- Humans are, on average, made up of 65% water.
- Water is used to flush toxins out of vital organs, to transport nutrients to our cells, participate in metabolic processes, and provide a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
- Drinking 0.5 L (17 oz.) of water can temporarily boost metabolism by 24-30%.
- To process 2 L of water, the body expends about 100 calories, so the more water you drink, the more calories you burn.
- To help you reduce the amount of food consumed at meal time, we recommend you drink water about 30 mins before serving.
- On average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. If you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you can add to your daily water quota. Foods like watermelon and spinach which are 90% water by weight are always welcome!
Think of it as normal operations within the body, but on a daily basis, about 2.5 L of water is lost through kidneys, (i.e. via urine), through intestines (feces), skin (sweat) and through lungs (exhaling). Therefore, this loss needs to be replenished every day if we are to keep our body well-hydrated. Excessive water loss can be caused by extended intense physical activity, exposure to hot weather, vomiting and diarrhea.
Don't Wait Till You're Thirsty!
In order to maintain long-term health, you really should not allow for thirst to be your constant reminder to replenish yourself because even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired. If you want a good sign of whether you are drinking enough water, take a look at your urine. The brighter it is, the more water you need.
You Need More Water If...
Most experts say about 8 eight-ounce glasses (this 8x8 rule is easy to remember) of water should be enough in most cases. (This is not supported by hard evidence, but rather balancing the body's water needs.) Drink more than usual if:
- you drink coffee and alcohol (both are diuretic) since the liver needs the water to expel the toxics (caffeine and ethyl alcohol).
- you are an athlete or involved in mild, medium, or intense physical activity
- you are pregnant
- you are breastfeeding
Handy Tips to Help You Drink More Water
- Leave a glass in the bathroom
- Keep the brita water container full and out on the kitchen counter
- At work, to avoid lost time refilling a smaller bottle, have a 1 or 2 litre glass bottle ready to fill every morning and try to finish drinking that bottle everyday
- Buy a fun looking BPA free bottle that you can carry in the car or in transit.
- Jéquier E, Constant F. “Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration.” Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. Feb. 2010. 64(2):115-23.
- Holford, P. “The New Optimum Nutrition Bible”, 2004.