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Well and Good: Drink Your Water!

In the heat of summer, it’s easy to remember to drink your water. But just because it’s cooler out, it doesn’t mean that your need for hydration goes down. In fact, especially if you exercise regularly or drink a lot of caffeine, you need to drink just as much water in the winter as you do during warmer months.

That’s because water is so important to our well-being.

Water has sometimes been described as being a forgotten nutrient, yet it is required by all of our cells and organs to function properly. You need plenty of water every day, to help your body absorb vitamins and nutrients, to help it detox, and to keep your organs like lungs and kidneys function correctly. I’ve even found that when I don’t drink enough water, I can feel irritable, tired and even experience headaches.

Most experts agree that the average person should consume daily a minimum of 64 ounces, or  8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day.

That requirement can be even higher under certain circumstances, such as a hot climate, alcohol consumption, extensive exercise, time spent in a sauna or hot tub, or consumption of caffeinated beverages.  But even in cooler weather, your body still needs that minimum.

To me, it doesn’t much matter what kind of water you drink – tap, mineral, spring or artesian well water.  If you don’t much like the taste of water, as some people complain, you can try sparkling water for part of your daily requirement. (As long as it does not have added sugar or caffeine.) Or, try adding a few slices of fresh lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit to a pitcher that you keep in your fridge, to lightly flavor it. Or, experiment with temperature; you may find it goes down easier if it’s super  icy cold.

One way that has helped me stay on top of my necessary water consumption is to carry with me to work a one-liter bottle of water and make sure I consume it all before the end of the work day.  Combining this along with the water I take in before and after work helps me reach the recommended amount on a daily basis.

One other thing to keep in mind is the container you put it in. Glass is always the best choice, but food-grade stainless steel water bottles that are unbreakable and travel well that are a good choice as well. If you are using a plastic water bottle, look for the PET #1 plastic container.  These are recognized as being safe for food and beverage storage.

Drink for your health.