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Why Water?

By Kristen DeLuca

Water makes up approximately 75% of total body weight, and we absolutely and positively cannot live without it. This nutrient is extremely important in order to prevent electrolyte imbalances from dehydration (or over-hydration), to regulate body temperature, to inhibit gastrointestinal motility, and for many other bodily functions. On a cellular level, water is important in transporting nutrients and oxygen from cell to cell.

Water is found in foods like fruits and vegetables, as well as in beverages. Even though most beverages are made up of water, the best beverage to choose is always water itself. Tap water has no calories, sugar, or sodium, and is inexpensive. One way to spice up tap water is by adding sliced fruit such as lemons or strawberries. Fruit-infused water, also known as “vitamin-packed water”, can be made at home with tap water and one of the following combinations:

  • strawberry, lemon, and basil
  • lemon and mint
  • blackberry, orange, and mint
  • cucumber, grapefruit, and orange
  • watermelon and mint
  • strawberry, cucumber, and lime

Throughout the day, an average person needs to replenish the water lost through sweat and other excretions. This requires an intake of about 8-12 cups of water per day to remain properly hydrated. Environmental factors like weather, activity level, and health of the individual may cause increased fluid needs. To check if you are properly hydrated, compare the color of your urine to the chart below.

Kristen DeLuca Dietetic is a Dietetic Intern with the University of Delaware with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program

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