Regardless of the season, an often overlooked part of good health is drinking enough water. The human body is made up mostly of water, and it is important for daily living and life itself.
The popular rule of thumb regarding the amount of water we need each day — eight 8-ounce glasses for a total of 64 ounces — has be re-evaluated by the Institute of Health.
The report sets a general recommendation of total water for women at 91 ounces a day and 125 ounces of total water for men each day. Remember, total water includes water that comes from the beverages we drink (80 percent) and the foods we eat (20 percent).
The institute report states that thirst can be the guide to adequate daily hydration for the majority of healthy people.
The report also disputes the belief that caffeinated beverages cannot be counted as part of a person's total water intake. Total water needs can vary based on factors such as overall health, physical activity and living environment.
Beverages contribute to the majority of our total water intake. If you do not like the taste of tap water, you might want to consider using a water filter, one that attaches to your faucet or a stand-alone type. You also can buy water bottles with a built-in filter. Disposable bottles are convenient but contribute to the landfill. Consider using a container from home that you can carry with you.
If you want a twist on regular water, consider using seltzer water. You also may choose from a variety of flavored waters that are available, or add a flavor concentrate or sliced fruit, such as oranges and lemons, for flavor.
If you drink beverages that contain caffeine or sugar and have health conditions that require you to limit the amount of these products, speak with your health care provider about how much of these beverages is right for you.
The remainder of our total water comes from the foods we eat, mainly fruits and vegetables and beverages such as milk. When choosing foods, think variety to ensure you get enough water from your diet.
Getting enough water in our day does not have to be difficult. By making a conscious effort to drink enough water, we can contribute to our overall good health, regardless of the time of year.
Daniel Stinnett is a licensed registered dietitian with Baptist Diabetes, Health and Nutrition Services at Baptist Health Lexington.