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Feb 25, 2008

The Truth About Water

We’ve all heard experts tout the importance of drinking adequate amounts of water. But why exactly is it so important? And how much water is enough?
At the most basic level, it goes like this: without water, we wouldn’t be here. Water is of major importance to all living things; up to 90 percent of the body weight of some organisms comes from water.Every day, we lose about 10 cups of water digesting food, eliminating waste, and maintaining a proper temperature.
Although many experts claim the human body is made up of about 60 percent water, the number actually fluctuates, depending on a variety of factors. Babies are made up of a little more than 75 percent water, while adult men are composed of about 60 percent. Furthermore, it’s difficult to make a generalization of the exact percentage, since fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue. Women’s body are made up of about 55 percent water, for example, but that can also change according to their age, how much they weigh, how often they exercise, and even the outside temperature.
So, is it necessary that we focus on drinking eight 8-oz glasses of water a day?

The simplest way to determine whether you’re getting enough water is to check the color of your urine. If it’s dark, you’re not getting enough fluids; if it’s clear or pale yellow, you're properly hydrated.
But what if you don’t like water? Don’t worry—today’s grocery stores offer many healthy alternatives, including waters that are flavored, carbonated, and even vitamin-enhanced. What’s more, decaffeinated tea, lowfat milk, and 100 percent fruit juices are tasty ways to replace the liquid your body loses throughout the day. You can also eat your way to hydration. Lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers, and broccoli have very high water densities as well—and are also rich in many important vitamins and minerals.