Water, water everywhere

December 15, 2009

Bikram Hot Yoga started out my day, today. An hour and a half class at Yoga Source Los Gatos. I’m planning on getting back into the yoga swing of things. Then to work. And whilst puttering around the office (I work at an alternative MD’s office), putting together patient charts, in walks an angel…

Now, this wasn’t just any angel, it was a Holiday Angel… And he was holding a white and purple cup filled with an extra hot Soy Chai (I’m not a big soy fan but hey, I’m not that picky). He remembered… Thank you, Holiday Angel! Well, ok, it wasn’t an angel, it was one of our lab account reps , but whatever, he was my angel for today. *Sip* Mmmmmmmm.

Back to the present. After enjoying my liquid fuel I am tallying my water intake for the day. 1.5 liters so far. And on a side note, since I do not drink any caffeine, I am on a caffeine high right now, apologies if this post is a little off topic at times. And for some reason I really want to color words today… Water.

Alright, water is an important element to life as we know it. Our own bodies are made up of over 60% water and every system in our body needs water to function properly. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues (source). We lose water through urine, bowel movements, breath, and perspiration. It is imparitive that we replish our body’s water loss daily. This can be done by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Here are three recommendations from the Mayo Clinic when acheiving daily hydration:

  • Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids.
  • Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Another approach to water intake is the “8 x 8 rule” — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” as all fluids count toward the daily total. Though the approach isn’t supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
  • Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

Consuming whole foods does add to your daily fluid intake. Many fruits and vegetables contain a significant amount of water. Watermelon and tomatoes, for example, are 90  to 100% water by weight (source). Most fresh fruits and vegetables have a water content of between 70 and 98%. So eat your veggies (and fruits)!
For further information, this site has a huge amount of information regarding the what, why, how, etc. on water.

My personal benefits from drinking more water this week has been increaded urination…? Well, it has only been 7 days of about 3 liters a day so I have not noticed too much of a difference in my skin or bowel movements, yet. But I do feel hydrated.

(picture sources: yoga mat and water glass)

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