Ten Tips For Maintaining Proper Hydration
The Nutrition Information Center at The New York Hospital - Cornell
Medical Center offers the following tips for maintaining proper hydration:
Follow conventional wisdom -- drink at least eight, eight-ounce servings
of water each day. The more time you spend outside, the more water you
need to replenish lost fluids|
Dont wait until youre thirsty to drink water. By the time you feel thirsty,
you probably have already lost two or more cups of your total body water.|
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Convenience is a must, so carry
a bottle of water with you as you commute to work, run errands or enjoy
the day at the beach.|
Dont substitute caffeinated coffees, teas and sodas for water. Caffeine
acts as a diuretic, causing you to lose water through increased urination.
Alcoholic beverages have a similar effect.|
If finding time to drink water is a problem, keep a bottle of water on
your desk. Or visit the office water cooler and take water break rather
than a coffee break.|
Once you start exercising, dont stop drinking. Keep a bottle of water
with you and take frequent water breaks.|
Dont underestimate the amount of fluids lost from perspiration. You need
to drink two cups of water for each pound lost following a workout.|
Start and end your day with a serving of water. Your body loses water while
you sleep. So drink a serving before bed and again when you wake up.|
Dont forget that common maladies such as colds and the flu can frequently
lead to dehydration. Keep a large bottle of water next to your bed so you
can sip it throughout the day without having to get up.|
Remember that when its warm outside, cold water -- not carbonated soft
drinks or sport drinks -- is the best fluid for keeping hydrated. Cool
water is absorbed much more quickly than warm fluids and may have a positive
effect on cooling off your overheated body.|
Survey Shows Americans May Be Drinking Themselves
(NEW YORK, May 11, 1998) A significant number of Americans may be drinking
themselves to dehydration by consuming too little water and too may beverages
that rob the body of water, according to the results of a national consumer
survey released today.
The survey of 3,003 Americans, conducted by Yankelovich Partners for
the Nutrition Information Center at The New York Hospital - Cornell Medical
Center and the International Bottled Water Association, reveals that Americas
glass is half empty.
The good news is that the average American drinks nearly eight daily
servings of hydrating beverages, such as water, milk, juice and decaffeinated
soft drinks. But that is undermined by the nearly five servings of caffeine-
or alcohol-containing beverages that respondents report drinking each day.
Scientific research shows that caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics, causing
the body to lose water through increased urination.
"The net result is that most Americans are probably only getting about
a third of the valuable hydration benefits they need," says Barbara Levine,
R.D.,Ph.D., Director of the Nutrition Information Center. "The vast majority
arent drinking enough water to begin with, and, to make matters worse,
many don't realize that beverages containing alcohol an caffeine actually
rob the body of water."
Awareness of Water Needs is High, but Compliance is Low
While two out of three survey respondents say they know that health
and nutrition experts recommend drinking eight, eight-ounce servings of
water a day, one in two admits do not getting enough. In fact, the survey
shows that the average American only consumes 4.6 servings of water a day.
Indeed, only one in five meets the "eight a day" recommendation. More
than double that amount (44 percent) drink three or fewer servings of water
daily. And nearly one in 10 (9 percent) report drinking no water at all.
"Its troubling that so few Americans drink the recommended amount of
water daily," notes Levine. "The consumption of water and other hydrating
beverages is crucial for proper retention and use of the bodys water in
complex and intricate biochemical processes."
Water comprises more than 70 percent of solid tissue such as muscle
in the human body. Besides oxygen, it is the most important nutrient in
the body, functioning as a physiological "jack of all trades." It has an
important role in nearly every major function in the body, regulating body
temperature, carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells, removing waste, cushioning
joints, and protecting organs and tissues.
It is not surprising, then, that those survey respondents who say they
drink eight or more servings of water a day are less likely to report experiencing
the symptoms of dehydration than those who drink three or fewer glasses
of water daily. Low-volume water drinkers, for example, are more likely
to report having dry, itchy skin or feeling tired and groggy when they
wake up or at mid-day, two classic signs of dehydration.
Levine notes that longer-term, more severe dehydration presents more
serious problems, dangerously affecting blood pressure, circulation, digestion,
kidney function and nearly all body processes.
Survey Reveals Hydration "Knowledge Gaps"
While survey respondents are widely aware of minor dehydration
symptoms such as dry skin and headaches, they are less knowledgeable
about the causes of dehydration. For example, one in five does not know
that caffein dehydrates -- a key finding, considering that Americans down
4.1 daily servings of coffee, caffeinated sodas and tea.
Additionally, nearly half (47 percent) are unaware that the human body
loses as much water when asleep as when awake, while more than a third
(37 percent) do not know that the body needs as much water in cold weather
as it does in warm weather.
One in 10 respondents say they wait until they are thirsty before drinking
a beverage. They do not realize that thirst lags far behind the bodys
need for water and does not adequately signal the bodys hydration needs.
"This look at Americas hydration habits suggests what could be a significant
and widespread health concern," say Levine. "The survey clearly demonstrates
the need for much more public education about the benefits of proper hydration
and the problems even minor dehydration can cause."
The Nutrition Information Center is a component of the Clinical Nutrition
Research Unit, The New York Hospital - Cornell Medical Center, Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the trade association
representing 85 percent of the bottled water sold in the U.S. today. Founded
in 1958, IBWAs membership includes U.S. and International bottlers and
distributors. Additional members include manufacturers of bottled water
equipment and supplies. Consumers can contact IBWA at 1-800-WATER-11 or
log onto IBWAs web site - www.bottledwater.org for more information concerning
bottled water and a list of members brands.
Critical Hot Weather Hydration Tips
With heat wave conditions predicted for an extended period, its important
to drink plenty of water. Proper hydration is critical during heat waves,
when loss of water due to extreme heat and humidity can be potentially
life-threatening. Following are the facts about how the heat affects the
body and water essential role in maintaining health.
|HEAT AND THE BODY
Extreme heat and humidity rob the body of water through perspiration and
respiration. Here is what results:|
The bodys natural balance is disrupted, since water is responsible for
dispersing nutrients throughout the body while expelling toxins.|
The body loses its natural energy, resulting in fatigue and sluggishness.|
The body loses vital electrolytes, like sodium, potassium, and chlorides.
These electrolytes are critical to your body.|
|WHY WATER IS ESSENTIAL
On a normal day, the body loses about two quarts of water. In order to
compensate for daily water loss, doctors and nutritionists recommend that
a person drink between one-half and two-thirds of an ounce of water daily
for every pound of body weight. The more active you are the closer to the
two-thirds of an ounce you need. This means about 9 to 10 eight-ounce servings
of water per day for an active person.|
During heat waves, people experience excess water loss. Health experts
recommend drinking at least one additional quart of water per day to compensate
for this loss.|
Everyone spending time outdoors should drink water -- before, during and
after sun exposure.|
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Dont rely on thirst alone to determine your bodys
need for water.|
|HIGH RISK GROUPS
There are a number of groups that have higher risk complications associated
with extreme heat. These include:|
People 65 and older, who have a decreased ability to respond to temperature
changes, and therefore are more prone to dehydration. Its crucial for
older people to drink water even if they dont feel thirsty.|
Infants and children up to four years of age, who are more sensitive to
the effects of high temperatures and are too young to respond to their
bodies needs. Parents must be aware of this and provide necessary fluids.|
Individuals who are overweight, ill, taking certain medications or tend
to overexert during work or exercise.|
Heres how to recognize and treat two common problems associated with extreme
Someone with an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F), experiencing
dizziness, and nausea may be suffering from Heat Stroke. Cool the
individual off as fast as possible by giving water and seek medical assistance.|
The bodys response to excessive water and salt loss in sweat is known
as Heat Exhaustion. Someone with Heat Exhaustion experiences heavy
sweating, dizziness, and weakness. As with Heat Stroke, it is important
to cool the victim as fast as possible.|
Keeping Properly Hydrated Is Extremely Important In
The National Weather Service predicts above-normal temperatures across
much of the United States this summer. As the nation prepares for a hot
summer, Felicia Busch, R.D.,M.P.H. and ambassador to the American Dietetic
Association, offers the following "Dos and Donts" for summer hydration.
Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to remain hydrated. Encourage
your kids to do the same -- Active children lose 2 or more quarts of water
daily so their bodies need to be continuously replenished.|
Drink 8-10 oz. of water every 15 minutes during a run or another 10-12
oz. immediately following your workout. An athlete can lose from 6-10 pounds,
almost all of it water, during a 10K race in hot weather.|
Have your child take water breaks every 15-20 minutes while playing outside
or participating in a sports activity. Get your kids in the habit of always
carrying cold water in their beverage holder when they go for a bike ride.|
When packing your car for a weekend trip, dont forget to include water
in the cooler. Freeze a partially full bottle of water the night before
a trip and fill it up with more bottled water before you leave and youll
have instant chilled water all day long.|
Dont overdo it. Take time throughout the day for a glass of water whether
or not you feel you need it. If you wait until you feel thirsty, youre
already experiencing the signs of dehydration.|
Dont substitute soda or juice as a proper beverage to prevent dehydration.
Most sodas contain sugar and caffeine, which may speed up dehydration.|
Dont drink surface water from lakes, rivers, or pools. This water is often
untreated and could contain harmful contaminants.|
Dont expect the coach or other adult supervisors to provide the beverages
for your child.|
C H I
1505 S. Main St.
Kannapolis, NC 28081
Copyright © 1997 Center for Holistic Instruction, PLLC. All rights reserved.
Revised: July 31, 2015.