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Water keeps every part of your body working properly. It helps your body flush wastes and stay at the right temperature. It can help prevent kidney stones and constipation.
You lose water throughout the day—through your breath, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. If you live in a hot climate, you lose even more fluid.
You need to replace this lost fluid to stay healthy. If you don't get enough water, you could become dehydrated. If you get very dehydrated, your body no longer has enough fluid to get blood to your organs. This is dangerous.
A common recommendation is to drink six to eight 250 mL (8 fl oz) glasses of water or other fluid every day. But some adults may need more or less. It depends on how healthy you are, how much you exercise, and how hot and dry the climate is.
Most healthy people get enough fluid through the beverages they normally drink each day. You also get water through food. Some fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water.
If you are a healthy person, here are some signs that you are drinking enough water:
People with certain health problems, especially heart and kidney problems, need to talk with their doctor about how much water to drink.
All liquids help you stay hydrated. Water is usually the best choice, because it's free (if you're drinking tap water) and has no sugar or calories. But most healthy people can get enough fluid through the beverages they consume every day. These can include water, fruit juices, coffee, sodas, iced tea, and other drinks.
Experts say that it's not true that beverages that have caffeine—such as coffee, tea, and cola drinks—always dehydrate you. Healthy people who consume moderate amounts of caffeine don't lose more fluid than people who don't have any caffeine. A moderate amount of caffeine is about 200 to 300 milligrams a day. That's about two to four 250 mL (8 fl oz) cups of coffee.
You also get water through food. Some fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, such as watermelon and lettuce.
Bottled water is not better than tap water. A lot of plain bottled water is just tap water that has been purified. It's your choice how you want to drink water. If you like bubbly mineral water, drink that. If you like the idea of vitamins and electrolytes in your water, you can find several varieties of enhanced water at the store.
If you don't like the taste of your tap water or if you just want to be extra careful, you can purify tap water at home. Water filters are available in many stores.
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineRhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
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