15Water is essential for the earth and all living creatures to flourish. It does not take long to feel the effects of not having water. Our bodies consist of about 60% water and survival without it can range from two days to a week. The way we respond to lack of hydration can vary with age, medical conditions, medications, activity levels and heat.

If you wait until you are thirsty to drink, chances are you are already slightly dehydrated. Think about how long a plant takes to replenish from the lack of water and we are not any different. Water is magic to our bodies and regulates our body temperature, lubricates and cushions joints, aids in the elimination of waste and lubricates the spinal cord. It also nourishes our skin, hair, nails and aids in weight loss with a boost to our metabolism and an appetite suppressant. Our blood is more than 90% water and carries oxygen to our body parts which help to maintain our blood pressure.

The sensation of thirst diminishes as we age and with that comes the lack of nourishment for our bodies to function properly. A diminish in water intake for older adults can result in the kidneys being less effective at concentrating urine which leads to excess water loss. Medications can also be a factor in dehydration. Substantial dehydration can also cause confusion and damage to our organs.

Let's face it water is not a habit for most because of the lack of flavor but I think that bottled water and flavors for enhancement have increased awareness. This is evident with the amount of people you see carrying a water bottle. The amount of water intake for adults can depend on a variety of factors including present health, climate and activity level. The suggested guideline for water intake is about fifteen cups for men and eleven cups for women. 70% of adults report no daily consumption, 36% say one to three cups, 35% say four to seven cups and 22% say eight cups.

Water sources do not primarily come in the form of H20. Vegetables and fruit can add to that daily intake nourishment. Fruit that is high in water content ranging up to 90% are watermelon, strawberries, peaches, Asian pears, blackberries, papayas, pineapple and oranges. Vegetables that carry a high-water content are cucumbers, celery, zucchini, portobello mushrooms, cauliflower, turnips, tomatoes and bell peppers. Coffee and tea can cause a mild diuretic effect but not to an extreme and your body still absorbs a substantial portion of the liquid. Juice, sports drinks and broth also count as your daily hydration, and you can lower the sugar content by diluting with water.

Drinking water can evolve into a habit and is viable for everyone regardless of age. Ways to improve water intake are drinking before and with a meal, during exercise, smaller quantities more often, add lemon or orange for flavor and keep your bottle visible.

Drinking water is like giving your insides a shower.

Stay hydrated my friends and grab a bottle or glass of H20.

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