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Drink more water!

1:30 PM, Mar 5, 2013   |    comments
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(BLAIR MOREAU - MERCY HEALTH PARTNERS) - Happy March (in like a lion and out like a lamb)!

March is Nutrition Month and our Live Your Whole Life Team is going to focus on the importance of WATER as a fundamental part of nutrition. Water is an important nutrient to our bodies and essential to good health.

Regularly, I get asked the question: "How much water should I drink everyday?" This is a relatively simple question with no easy answer. There are many factors that can influence the amount of water needed on a daily basis, including health, physical activity level, and the climate where you live.

To begin answering this question, let's look at water and your body. Water is our body's primary make up and accounts for approximately 60% of our body weight. Every single system in our body depends on water. The lack of water can lead to dehydration. Dehydration occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions and even mild dehydration can drain energy and make you feel tired.
Everyday you lose water through breathing, perspiration, talking, and going to the bathroom. For your body to function properly, you must replenish your body's water supply by drinking this wonderful colorless and tasteless drink.

Everyone has heard the advise of "eight 8-ounces glasses of water a day." The 8/8 rule really isn't supported by hard evidence. It is popular because it is easy to remember. So how much water does the average, healthy adult need? Research indicates that an adequate water intake for men is 104 ounces and for women is 72 ounces a day.

If you exercise regularly there is a very simple formula. To determine baseline range for water requirements, use the following formula:

Low end of the water range = Body Weight (lbs) x 0.5 = ounces of fluid/day
High end of the water range = Body weight (lbs) x 1.0 = ounces of fluid/day

On your exercise days the following water schedule works very well to keep hydrated:
Before your exercise program
• Drink 20 ounces of water within 2 hours before your workout
• Weigh yourself right before you start working out
During your exercise program
• Drink 3 to 6 ounces every 10 minutes
After your exercise program
• Weigh yourself immediately after you finish your workout (the weight loss experienced is water loss)
• Drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight lost during your exercise session
• Replace slowly and over time (do not gulp all at one time)

Staying hydrated is essential for everyone. Water is the most important nutrient for life and has many important functions for our bodies. Join the Live Your Whole Life water challenge and earn bonus points for drinking 96 ounces of water a day. If you can't just drink water try adding cut up lemons, limes or oranges to add flavor. Trust me your body will thank you for the fluid.

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