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Our Bodies Lose Water Quickly, So We Need to Always Be Hydrating

You are always losing water. In addition to normal elimination and heavy perspiration, you lose water through what doctors call "insensible" water losses. For instance, even when you are just sitting quietly, you are constantly and lightly sweating--even while you read this. You also lose water when you breathe.

Every time you exhale, you eliminate some of the water vapor your lungs use to heat and humidify air. On a cold winter day, you can actually see this loss as a cloud that comes from your mouth whenever you breathe.

The insensible losses total approximately a quart of water each day, with other external losses bringing the total up to two-and-a-half to three quarts of water per day. If you exercise for an hour of so, or if you live in a hot, humid climate, add another quart.

You could lose as much as a gallon of water every day simply doing nothing.

Think of water as "flight insurance":
  • People often do the opposite of what they should do on long distance air travel by drinking alcoholic, sweetened, or decaffeinated beverages. These beverages can have the opposite effect desired, by acting as mild diuretics.
  • Since the humidity level inside a modern jet aircraft while in flight can be akin to the Sahara desert, it's a bad idea to drink anything other than plain water.
  • Consequently, your need for water increases during long distance flights. Instead of the usual beverages, for good hydration you should really be drinking water and plenty of it - before, during, and after the flight.
The more you exercise, the more H2O you should drink.
  • After exercising for about an hour, you will lose about a quart of water.
  • To maintain good hydration and to keep even mild dehydration from affecting your performance during exercise, follow this routine even if it sounds like a lot to drink: Drink 8 ounces of water before you exercise. Drink approximately 4 ounces of water every 15 minutes or so while exercising. Then, drink 8 ounces again, about 20-30 minutes after you finish exercising.
  • Water has absolutely zero calories and zero sugar, and can give you a satisfying feeling that can reduce hunger. In contrast, drinking a sugary, high caloric beverage after exercising is an absolute waste if such exercise is part of a dieting program.
Drink in cold weather as well as hot.
  • Most people are conscious about and conditioned to drinking more water during hot weather. And well they should; but we lose water in cold weather, too - especially if we are active.
  • In addition, cold air tends to be drier. And the inside of heated homes in the winter tends to be drier. These dry conditions conspire to increase the body's need for water.
  • Bottom line: don't forget about keeping yourself well hydrated, even in the winter months.
It's never too early.

  • Young children, particularly babies, may also need to drink water. In fact, babies have a higher risk of dehydration than adults because there is a greater proportion of water in a baby's body than in an adult. In addition, water can help promote elimination and help the incompletely formed kidneys of infants to excrete toxins.
  • To ensure your child is healthy, it's important to ask a pediatrician about all aspects of your child's diet, including hydration requirements.
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