Remember when toddlers were the only ones carrying bottles? Carrying a bottle of water to class, to work, on shopping trips, on walks and in cars has become quite chic. That’s a fashion statement with health benefits.
How much do you know about the importance of water and other fluids in your diet? Try this quiz.
- Depending on age, size and gender, about what percent of an adult’s body weight consists of water?
- 10 to 25 percent
- 15 to 30 percent
- 25 to 50 percent
- 55 to 75 percent
- About how much water do adults lose daily through perspiration, breathing and normal elimination?
- 3 cups
- 6 cups
- 8 cups
- 10 cups
- A person who has lost ____ percent of his or her body water may experience muscle spasms, swollen tongue and wakefulness.
- 25 percent
- 20 percent
- 15 percent
- 10 percent
- On average, how many cups of water and other fluids should you consume each day through liquids and the foods in your diet?
- 2 cups
- 4 cups
- 6 cups
- 8 cups
How did you do? The answers are all choice No. 4.
The importance of water and other fluids to health often is overlooked. Water is a calorie-free beverage that supports the function of almost all body processes. For example, water helps transport nutrients about the body and carries wastes out of the body. It helps regulate body temperature. It helps cushion joints. When you feel “thirsty,” you’re already mildly dehydrated and have lost about 1 percent of your body water.
You need more water if you’re exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures. During intense exercise, dehydration can become an issue. Drink water before, during and after physical activity. Athletes, in particular, can see a decline in strength and performance with even mild dehydration.
Being sick, especially if you’re experiencing fever, vomiting or diarrhea, will increase fluid needs. Pregnant and nursing women need to increase their fluid intake, too. People who spend a lot of time in air travel often need extra fluids due to the dryness of the air.
Remember that food, especially fruits and vegetables, also contain a high percentage of water. About 90 percent of the weight of watermelon and tomatoes comes from water. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee and cola do count as fluids, but the caffeine can have a diuretic effect, leading to loss of water in the urine, so plain water is considered more hydrating.
So, drink – and eat – to your health. Keep fluids within easy reach. Carry a sippy cup filled with ice water with you in your car. Keep a glass of water on your desk or bed stand. Have soup more often as a first course. Eat plenty of high-water foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Here’s a tasty slush beverage that’s a special treat to enjoy at a summer cookout or summer celebration.
3-ounce package strawberry or raspberry gelatin (sugar-free)
1 c. boiling water
3 c. cold water
2 c. cranberry juice cocktail
1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (12-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 quarts lemon-lime soda pop (diet or regular)
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water in small bowl. In a nonmetal freezer container (such as an ice cream bucket), combine dissolved gelatin with remaining ingredients except carbonated beverage; cover. Freeze about eight hours or until it reaches a slush consistency. To serve, allow to stand at room temperature about 30 minutes and spoon about 1/2 cup slush mixture into serving glass and fill with lemon-lime soda.
Makes about 20 servings.
When made with sugar-free gelatin and diet soda, a serving (about 1 cup) contains about 90 calories, 19 grams (g) of carbohydrate, no fat or protein and 60 percent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C. When made with “regular” products, each serving has 130 calories and 32 g of carbohydrate. The remaining nutrition facts stay the same.