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Aqua Vitae: Water

posted Mar 6, 2012, 3:09 PM by Amanda Bontempo

The average adult loses about 2 ½ quarts of water per day. That’s more than a two liter soda bottle.  If you exercise regularly or drink alcohol you’re losing even more. Water is the element of life because it keeps our digestive tract healthy and moving, it regulates body temperature, helps absorb vitamins and minerals, maintains electrolyte and pH balance and flushes toxins through our liver and kidneys. In sum, water does a body good. Even just mild dehydration causes significant fatigue.

Adequate hydration means least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water per day.

Many people confess to hating the taste of water and force themselves to drink it just because they’re supposed to. While water is the optimal way to hydrate, it isn’t the only way. Unsweetened coffee or tea can be healthy hydration options when they’re not loaded down with added sugars.

To make H2O more appealing, add a slice of lemon, lime or orange to an ice cold glass of water. Or crush fresh mint leaves for a refreshing sip. Bonus: some anecdotal studies suggest that we associate even just the smell of citrus or mint as cleansing which deters us from making diet disaster lunch choices.  Here at Spill The Beans, we're obsessed with seltzer water with a fresh squeeze of lime. Try it. 

Choose these natural flavors over using water enhancers like Crystal Light or powdered iced tea. A new-ish product out on the market and targeting men is Mio which also provides a manly shot of caffeine. If you must enhance your water, make sure it isn’t one full of empty sugar calories. Even then, limit it.

Eat water.  Your three square meals can act as a source of water with about 20% of hydration coming from food. Consider soup, smoothies, fruits and veggies. 

When to call it quits. When your urine turns colorless or slightly yellow, congratulations you’re well hydrated.