Your body needs water to function. Because you constantly lose water through breathing, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements, you have to replenish your body's water supply regularly.
Research originally recommended that you drink 8 ounces of water eight times a day. However, newer guidelines suggest that you drink water when you’re thirsty — unless you require extra water due to your activity level, where you live, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and your health. If you let thirst be your guide, you will likely meet your body's hydration needs.
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, adequately hydrated women consume an average of 2.7 L of water each day, while men consume about 3.7 L daily. These values cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food.
Why You Need Water
Water is essential to your survival. In your body, water works by:
- Regulating your body temperature
- Moistening your eyes, nose, and mouth tissues
- Protecting your organs and tissues
- Bringing nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- Lubricating joints
- Flushing out waste products
- Dissolving minerals and other nutrients for your body to use.
If you lose more water than you take in, you can easily become dehydrated. Common causes of dehydration include, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, infections, and not drinking enough water in hot climates or when exercising. The symptoms of dehydration in adults are:
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
The symptoms of dehydration in babies or young children, include:
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- No urine in their diaper for three hours
- Sunken eyes or cheeks
- Sunken soft spot of the top of their head
- Irritation or lack of emotion
If left untreated, dehydration can lead to serious problems, such as:
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones or kidney failure
- Low blood volume shock (a life-threatening amount of oxygen in your body)
Heat Injury (heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or life threatening heatstroke)
Foods With Water
Although 80% of your daily water intake usually comes from beverages, the other 20% usually comes from foods.
Here are 10 foods high in water:
Because it is 95% water, one serving of cucumber has only 8 calories. Cucumber is also a good source of fiber, vitamin K, and vitamin A.
Tomatoes are a rich source of water as one cup of sliced raw tomato contains 170.14 g of water.
The high amount of water in watercress is surely one of the reasons this vegetable topped the list of "powerhouse fruits and vegetables" compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Per a 100-gram serving, apples have 85.56 g of water, making them a perfect snack for staying hydrated.
Celery is a healthy vegetable that is made mostly of water. A single cup of it contains 115 g of water.
Water makes up over 95% of raw lettuce. In addition to helping you stay hydrated, lettuce helps with bone strength, vision, and sleep.
This juicy fruit gets its name from containing 92% of water serving as a great snack for staying hydrated. Watermelon is also power packed with beneficial nutrients and is a great source of antioxidants.
Although the fiber content in peaches makes them a filling food, they are made up of 88% water.
Broth is a soup base often made by simmering bones in water with seasonings. You can add vegetables to broth to make it extra hydrating.
One cup of zucchini contains 95% water and contains 1 g of fiber that keeps you feeling full.