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Most people don’t drink enough water

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The majority of people (over 40%), especially older Americans, are not drinking enough water daily, according to a report by ABC News. A study of 15,000 people found that among adults aged 20 to 50, 43% of men and 41% of women failed to meet the daily water intakes recommended by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM). People aged 50 to 70 were even less likely to meet the guidelines, and the numbers tanked among older adults; roughly 95% of men and 83% of women 71 and older don’t drink enough water.

How much water is right?

First, water intake doesn’t all have to come from just glasses of water. Water is contained in many foods such as soup, water saturated fruits and vegetables (such as tomatoes, celery, apples, oranges, and watermelon), juice, and decaffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. Only decaffeinated beverages count toward water consumption totals, since caffeine often acts as a diuretic and the water is expelled from the body before much of it is absorbed.

Caution is needed when feeding children fruit juice because of natural and added sugars and sweetening products. Children over age 1 should drink a maximum of 4 oz. of fruit juice a day, and never any beverages with added sugar or any artificial sweetener products (including all soft drinks and carbonated beverages). Children younger than teens should not drink sports beverages because many contain caffeine or the ingredients in them are balanced for the size and composition of an adult body.

Miniwebtool is one source for calculating adequate water intake by age and other health considerations.

*Infants up to 6 months need about .7 liter of water, which they get from breast milk or infant formula.

*Babies aged 7-12 months need 0.8 liter of total water, assumed to be from human milk, complementary foods and beverages.

*Children age 1-3 need 1.3 liters of water, .9 from beverages.

*Children age 4-8 need 1.7 liters of water, 1.2 from beverages.

*9-13 year old boys need 2.4 liters of water, 1.8 liters from beverages.

*14-18 year old boys need 3.3 liters of water a day, 2.6 liters from beverages.

* 9-13 year old girls need 2.1 liters of water, 1.6 liters from beverages.

* 14-18 year old girls need 2.3 liters of water, 1.8 liters from beverage.

* Adult males (over 18) need 3.7 liters of water a day, 30 liters from beverages.

* Adult females (over 18) need 2.7 liters of water a day, 2.0 liters from beverages.

*Pregnant women need 3.0 liters of water a day, 2.3 liters from beverages.

* Lactating women need 3.8 liters of water a day, 3.1 liters from beverages.

Menstruating girls and women should increase their water intake during these days since their bodies are actively releasing fluids.

Water consumption should be spread throughout the day, not just at meals. Sipping water every few minutes is the best way to maintain a consistently hydrated body. When you begin to feel thirsty, your body is telling you it is dehydrating quickly and needs water. The body normally loses water through natural functions besides urination, such as perspiration (even if you don’t feel sweaty), breathing (exhaled water vapor), and natural tears.

Drinking too much water too fast can be dangerous to your health. Rapid consumption of large quantities of fluids that greatly exceeded the kidney’s maximal excretion rate of from 0.7 to 1.0 L/hour (≈ 3-4 cups/hour) can cause fluid toxicity.

Drinking recommended amounts of water helps the body digest food, flush impurities, andkeep skin healthy. So drink up and be beautiful at every age.

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