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Water Matters - Nutritionally
Broward County > Parks > Extension Education > Nutrition > Water Matters - Nutritionally

Water is the substance of life. Life cannot exist without water. We must constantly add fresh water to our bodies in order to keep it properly hydrated. Water is one of the most important things we can put into our bodies. Water matters!

We need to drink water because it plays a vital role in nearly every bodily function.

How Much Water is in Me?
On average, an adult's body is made up of about 10 to 12 gallons of water (about 55 to 75 percent of body weight). An elderly person's body weight in only about half water.

Dehydration
Summer heat can cause risk for dehydration. Dehydration can occur at any time of the year, not only during the summer months when it is hot.

What are the Signs of Dehydration?
  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Delirium
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken eyes
  • Impaired physical performance
  • Dry mouth
  • Reduction in urine
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Exhaustion

Though dehydration, typically, won't happen over the course of a single day, it is important to pay attention to signals of water loss. You can minimize the risk of dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, before thirst sets in.

How Much Water Should I Drink?
Eight to ten glasses of liquid per day is recommended. Water needs vary depending on diet, activity, environmental temperature and humidity.

A person can survive about 60 days without food and for much longer without certain vitamins and minerals, but no one will survive beyond a week without water.

Food-A Water Source
Water and other beverages supply the body with a good portion of its fluid needs. Solid food also contains a significant amount of water. Eating these solid foods adds to the body's water “pool.” Here are some examples:

  • ½ cup of watermelon is 92% water by weight
  • 1 medium apple is 84% water by weight
  • ½ cup of low fat cottage cheese is 79% water by weight.
  • ½ cup of broccoli is 91% water by weight
  • ½ cup of lettuce is 95% water by weight.
Tips for Drinking More Water
  • Flavor water with lemon or lime for taste.
  • Drink water when you wake up.
  • Keep a bottle or pitcher of water at your bedside
  • Keep a glass or bottle of water at your desk. Sip water throughout the day.
  • Take any medications prescribed for you with a full glass of water.
  • Carry a water bottle with you during the day.
  • Drink water before, during and after spending time outdoors.
  • Have a glass of water with all of your meals.
  • Request that your server bring you water, as your beverage, when dining out