Water

Water

Plenty of water in your diet helps digestion, skin, and muscle tone. It can help prevent cramping during exercise and even relive stress. Many times we are low on water - dehydrated, and don't realize it. Being dehydrated can manifest with symptoms like fatigue and depression. In fact, by the time we are feeling thirsty, we're already slightly dehydrated. That's one reason that we hear the recommendation to drink eight standard glasses of water daily. Adequate water helps you digest food an helps your body get rid of wastes. Your kidneys need to process water for you to eliminate waste by urination, and getting enough water ensures that these wastes are diluted. Not getting enough water can encourage the formation of painful kidney stones.

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    Here are a couple of benefits from drinking water that may come as a surprise to you. Drinking water revs up your metabolism, is Ultimate Anti-Aging Ingredient, and is amazing fuel to the body.
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    A Sports Medicine, answered on behalf of
    A simple way you can determine if you are drinking enough is by looking at the color and volume of your urine. Urine that is darker in color and low in volume can be a sign of significant dehydration. The goal is to have regular urinations that are light yellow in color. If you are making frequent stops at the bathroom with perfectly clear urine, it is probably a sign that you are drinking too much water.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    This little ditty has been circulating since a 1945 guideline recommendation from the Nutrition Board of the National Research Council (NRC) read, "An ordinary standard for diverse persons is 1 milliliter for each calorie of food. Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods."

    For some reason the last sentence, which is really an important point, got cut from the story telling. Hence the 8, 8-ounce glasses of water a day rule persisted. What the board really meant was humans need 2.5 liters of fluid a day (assuming a 2500 calorie diet). But fluid comes from many sources, not just water alone, including other beverages such as coffee and from fruits, vegetables, yogurt and rice.

    Healthy people at rest naturally maintain a water balance and what you don't use you excrete as urine. Still, if you consume too much water too quickly, you can get water toxicity, a potentially life-threatening situation where the kidneys just can't manage processing large quantities of fluid all at once.

    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.
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    As an endurance athlete you will need to drink water on race day. Hydration is important regardless of weather. Plan to drink four to six gulps every 15 to 20 minutes, alternating between sports drinks and water. If you are taking a gel, you should drink water immediately afterward, as these can be too concentrated in sugar and cause cramping if not diluted with water.

    Even after you have finished the race, your body is still burning calories and going through your carbohydrate storage and possibly muscle tissue -- so you may have to replenish your body with carbs in a timely manner. After enjoying a celebratory brunch with family and friends, set your alarm every two to three hours to consume different sources of carbohydrates as meals or snacks to avoid a headache and recover much faster.
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    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    Most of us healthy folks get enough water in the foods and liquids we consume. That includes any liquid we drink -- even caffeinated beverages like soda, coffee and tea. Our kidneys work to perfectly balance and regulate our water requirements so that we take in and retain as much fluid as we need. Healthy people can let thirst be their guide to their fluid requirements.

    However, certain medications -- such as those for heart disease, stomach ulcers or depression -- can alter your thirst mechanism. So can certain diseases, like diabetes insipidus. The elderly can also sometimes have a poorly-regulated thirst mechanism. Another group of individuals that may require more fluids are people who have problems with kidney stones or chronic urinary tract infections. They may to need to over-hydrate from time to time and may benefit from excess water to flush out their kidney stones or bacteria from their bladder. Meanwhile, patients on dialysis for kidney disease may have to restrict their fluid intake.

    Athletes, military recruits, or anyone forced to work outside during the hottest part of a summer day may require more fluids than generally recommended. And if you're already in the throes of heat illness or heat stroke, you may have an inadequate or malfunctioning thirst mechanism.

    But for most of us, an easy way to gauge how well-hydrated we are is to simply look at our urine. It should be fairly clear, and if it is very dark yellow, that's sign we may need to drink more water.
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    A Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of

    The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter (about four cups) of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Water drinkers average 75 to 90 fewer calories at each meal, which greatly aids in weight loss and weight control. 

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    A , Administration, answered

    Kool-Aid mixed with water is not the same as plain water or a beverage such as Gatorade or Powerade. Kool-Aid is high in sugar or contains artificial sweetener and has little to no nutritional value. Plain water is better than Kool-Aid because it does not contain any sugar and is easy for the body to use. Water is sufficient for hydration unless you are participating in an activity that lasts longer than one hour. It that case, a beverage like Gatorade or Powerade is better as these contain electrolytes and carbohydrates to replenish your fuel stores (glycogen). Experiment with what works best for you. Some individuals experience gastrointestinal upset from Gatorade or Powerade type beverages. It may be necessary to dilute these drinks with water until your body adjusts to them. Once you become accustomed to hydrating and rehydrating with these types of beverages, you should not need to dilute them. Remember, it is not necessary to consume a beverage other than water if your activity is less than one hour. These beverages are not usually calorie-free, and should not be consumed unnecessarily.

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    We get fluid not only from drinking it, but many foods have large amounts of water. Watermelon is 91% water, carrots are 92% and cucumbers are 96%! Even yogurt is 85% water. So much of our daily fluid needs can be met with water-rich foods.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Water intoxication or sickness from drinking too much water occurs where you exceed your capacity to get rid of water. Your capacity to excrete water is normally about 1000 milliliters per hour (which is about 4 glasses), so if you drink more than this, you will dilute your body salts.

    If the capacity to excrete water is impaired, then even lesser rates of consumption will result in low sodium concentration in your blood. Kidney failure is one reason for such an impaired capacity. The other, major reason for a failure to excrete a water load is the presence of a hormone vasopressin--the antidiuretic hormone. This last explains the frequency of low sodium concentration in the blood in marathon runners: marathon runners sweat and become volume depleted, vasopressin rises, thirst increases and due to the vasopressin, the water load cannot be adequately excreted and salt concentration falls.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    Some common myths about how much water you should drink include:
    • You only need to drink 3-5 beverages each day, unless you're exercising heavily.
    • People who drink 8-10 beverages a day put an unnecessary strain on their kidneys.
    • It's okay to be mildly dehydrated, as long as you still urinate a couple of times a day.
    • Restricting water is a great way to drop several pounds in a few days.