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Water: Your Most Important Nutrient

Mar 25, 2008
In order to ensure that we're eating healthy, we need to be sure we are including as many healthy nutrients in our daily meals as possible. Out of all the nutrients out there, do you know which one is most important? Vitamins, minerals- which one would you choose?

Would you be surprised to hear that water is the most important nutrient in our body? Our body is 60% fluid, making water the most important nutrient to our body.

Losing as little as 5% of water in your body can cause headaches, fatigue, confusion, forgetfulness, and an elevated heart rate. You easily lose almost half that amount each day through urination and sweat, so replacing fluid is vital to maintaining a healthy body.

What does water do for the body?

Each part and function of the body requires water in order to operate properly. Without water, no tissue can be formed or repaired and very few chemical reactions can take place.

1. Blood, tears, saliva, gastric fluid, and mucus all contain water.
2. In order for our cells to dissolve and transport vital nutrients, cells must have adequate water.
3. Water dilutes and flushes toxins from the body.
4. Water helps to regulate the body's temperature
5. Fluid lubricates our joints, cushions the body's organs, and makes skin soft.

How do I know if I need more water?

You will be happy to know that your body, more or less, can control its balance of fluids. When your body is low, the sodium in the body becomes elevated. As the brain reads this change in sodium levels, it signals to the kidneys to slow down. It is this signal that makes you feel thirsty. But by the time you feel thirsty, you have already lost about 2 cups of fluid from your system!

How much water should I drink?

To be smart about water intake, it is important to drink water even if you are not thirsty. The recommended daily water intake is 8-12 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but other factors must come into consideration here. If the weather is hot and humid, you exercise, and even the types of foods you eat will require that you take in more fluids. On top of the amount of water recommended, you may want to drink an additional 1-3 cups.

How can I get my water intake in?

Simply by making sure you drink it! Try carrying around with you a water bottle (I never leave home without it!). Choose water with your meals over soda, sip water during your favorite show, or while you are doing work. You will find that when you are in the habit of drinking your water, it is easy to get in your required amount.

Can I only drink water?

No. Teas, lemonade, flavored water- they are all great choices and add flavor to boot. Just stay away from liquids like fruit punch and sodas, which are not good for you, anyways.

It is amazing how important water is to our overall health. Adequate water intake really does have a terrific impact on our bodies, so do your body good: drink water!
About the Author
Colleen is a health and fitness enthusiast who loves to pass on the latest information on health and wellness. Sign up for your free e-newsletter filled with cutting-edge information on health, nutrition, weight loss, and fitness. For your free e-newsletter, visit HealthyRevelations.com
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