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Water

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Although water doesn’t provide any nutrients, it too is an important part of your diet.

Why Water is Important: 70% of your body weight is water, and as a result it is vital that you drink enough fluids. Water plays a role in nearly every function of the body. It:

  • Flushes toxins out of vital organs and cells
  • Carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues
  • Keeps blood clean and skin soft and stretchy
  • Cools you down when you become overheated (especially during exercise)
  • Is needed for digesting, absorbing and transporting nutrients
  • Is a lubricant for joints and cushions vital organs and tissues

Daily Dietary Requirements: Divide your weight in pounds by 2. The result is an approximation of the fluid in ounces you should consume. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should have 60 ounces of fluid a day. You may need more water if the weather is very warm or very dry, if you are exercising, or if you are taking certain medications.

If diet has too little If diet has too much
  • Dehydration reduces the body’s ability to perform physically and mentally
  • Constipation
  • If extreme dehydration occurs over extended period of time, may increase risk of colon cancer
  • The inability of the body to cool itself will result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion or a heat stroke
  • Although highly unlikely, water intoxication and hyponatremia can occur due to a the dilution of sodium and electrolytes in the body (important to drink water over time instead of all at once)
  • When it occurs, it is most often seen in infants under six months of age and sometimes in athletes
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