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Continue being hydrated during Fall

17 Oct

Fall is here, the air is getting dry and the temperatures are falling. The days are sunny and nice. During this time of the year I have to remind myself to keep drinking water. I have been adding pieces of cucumber, basil or lemon to my drinking water to add some flavor to it and to keep drinking more. Most of us realize we need to drink more when it is hot and humid and we are sweating, but few people realize water evaporates from our skin when it is cold as well.

Water is so important in our system. Our body contains a great deal of water. The percentage of our bodies that are made up of water ranges from 75% when we are a newborn to around 50% when you become an older adult. All body tissues contain water. Look at these different parts of our body and guess the percentage of water in each: Blood – 83%; Muscle –73%; Body Fat –25%: and even Bone – 22%.

waterWe can store extra calories as fat for when food is scarce, but we cannot store extra water like a camel for when we need it. Thirst is a very inexact signal that we need to drink more, especially as we get older. We need to drink regularly even if we are not particularly thirsty. We not only lose water going to the bathroom, but we also lose some in the air we exhale each day and in perspiration through our skin even when it is cool.

In order to replace our daily fluid loss, we need to drink at least 8 – 10 cups of water or other fluids each day. Any change in our environment or health condition can increase our need for fluid. The only way that you can tell if you are drinking enough is to check the color of your urine. If you are going to the bathroom infrequently and your urine color is dark like apple juice or cider you need to drink more. If our urine is nearly colorless or is a light yellow in color like pale lemon juice, you are getting enough fluids.
Here are some fluids that would be healthier for you to drink: Water both from the tap and bottled without added sugar; 100% juice – not juice blends or juice drinks; low fat or skim milk; and soy milk fortified with calcium and Vitamin D.

Choose your fluids wisely. They are a vital part of good health habits.