Are you drinking enough water? Hydration 101

Water 101

The amount of water you need for good health varies. It depends on your age, height, weight, food consumption and  partly on your activity level. On average, you should drink a minimum of eight to ten cups of water every day if you're not active. If you're  exercising, you may need more to replace the fluids lost during exercise.

You can easily tell if you're not getting enough water by noting the following signs:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Flushed skin
  • Heat intolerance
  • Light-headedness
  • Dark urine with a strong odor

Today you can have spring water, mineral water, tap water, and sparkling water, and the list goes on. With so many choices, which one's for you?

The most convenient choice is tap water straight from your faucet. Tap water contains a variety of minerals. In most cities, it's chlorinated and fluoridated. The mineral content in tap water varies regionally, and the amount of chlorine and fluoride added to water is federally and locally regulated.

This makes bottled water generally a better choice than tap water because of possible contamination of tap water.  Tap water in many areas contains contaminants such as pesticides, chlorine by-products, and harmful microorganisms. If you drink tap water, a good move is to buy a water purifier, which filters out some contaminants. You can install an in home water filter system for under a few hundred dollars.  The one from 3M is easy-to-install in about fifteen minutes and the filter lasts for over a year.  It purifies your home tap water without taking out the fluoride benefits you'll want for your family.

No matter what kind of water you choose, the bottom line is to drink lots of it.

Andrea Metcalf is author of Naked Fitness and a healthy lifestyle coach. 



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