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Get the facts

Water accounts for roughly 60% of a person's body weight. Keeping that in mind, a lack of hydration can lead to: 

  • Dehydration
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Feeling tired or drowsy during the day

How do we lose water?

We lose water through daily activities as well as normal bodily functions.

Every day we lose a pint of water by simply breathing! Water is also lost through sweating and bodily secretions.

Along with normal bodily functions, everyone loses more water through activities such as exercise, prolonged exposure to sunlight, and travel (especially flying in planes). It is important to always take into account your daily activities when it comes to proper hydration.

How much should you drink?

For optimal health, it is recommended that a person consumes eight glasses of water a day.

Remember to drink more if you are exercising, out in the sunlight, or doing any physical labor. For every hour of physical demand on your body it is recommended to consume at least an additional two glasses of water.

Drink extra fluids to keep your body wellhydrated in hot weather and when exercising outdoors. It is preferable to drink WATER - eight, 8-ounce glasses a day - to keep from becoming dehydrated.

  • Water is ALWAYS the healthiest choice. Try to avoid other drinks such as sports drinks, juices, soda, fruit punch, lemonade and iced tea. Many of them contain too much sugar and/or chemicals.
  • Drinks that contain caffeine cause you to urinate more often than normal, resulting in loss of fluids.

Ways to fit water into your day

  • Keep a water bottle with you during the day, and remember to refill it when it's empty.
  • Take a water break every couple of hours to "recharge" your body.
  • Substitute water for your daily coffee or soda.
  • Consume water-rich foods and drinks such as watermelon and cranberry juice.
  • Add a calorie free flavoring to your water.

By the time you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Avoid waiting until the last minute to get a much needed drink.

© WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Raleigh, NC  |  919.350.8000