Did you know that water constitutes about 60% of an adult’s body weight and a higher percentage for children and infants? Water is essential for digestion, absorption and excretion, key role in the circulatory system and acts as a transport medium for nutrients and all body tissues.

Water intake is influenced by thirst and satiety. Thirst drives someone to seek water, and if not replaced dehydration will develop. We get water from fluids and from food. Lettuce, watermelon, broccoli, milk and orange juice have the highest percent of water by weight in a food item.

Water losses occur primary in urine but we also have other losses through the lungs as vapor, from the skin as sweat, and even in feces.

Certain circumstances require more water intake due to higher losses or increased need:

  • People who live in extreme temperatures - very hot or very cold.
  • Strenuous work or exercise increase the need due to high perspiration
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • Being sick (having a fever, diarrhea, and vomiting increase water losses)
  • High fiber diets require the intake of more water to help prevent constipation related to the presence of more roughage
  • When exposed to heated or recirculated air for a long time (on an airplane)

The body has no way to store water, therefore the amount of water lost in a 24 hour period must be replaced to maintain health and proper body functioning.

What are your needs (Note: 125 mL= 1/2 cup):

  • Adults is 1 mL/ calorie (35mL water/ kg body weight)
  • Infants 1.5 mL water/ calorie (50-60 mL water/ kg in children, and 150 mL water/ kg in infants)
  • For a woman who is breast-feeding, an additional 600- 700mL/day for milk production is needed.

A way to see if you have had enough fluid in the day, check the color of your urine. A small amount of dark colored urine indicates you haven't been drinking enough water. Colorless or pale urine means you are drinking enough.

Tips for staying hydrated during this hot summer season:

  • Continuously offer your children cool beverages such as water and 100% juice
  • Offer plenty of fruits and vegetables (not only will this provide water, but many nutrients to help your children stay healthy)
  • Be sure not to store water bottles in car (as this can leach harmful chemicals into your water)

What are you waiting for? Drink Up!