Johnston: Tips for drinking more water

Published 2:35 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Drink more water they say … but how and why?

Most of us hear early on we should drink water for good health, but some of us may not know why it is so important. More than two-thirds of our bodies are water. It helps lubricate our joints. Without water, our organs could not properly function.

Water is also essential in helping us remove waste from our bodies, make our skin healthier and helps fight off infections.

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If you don’t consume enough water, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can cause headaches, mood changes, fever, dizziness, rapid heartbeat and kidney problems among others which is especially concerning during cold and flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests adults consume between 91 and 125 fluid ounces of water each day on average. Individuals who choose water when they are thirsty and at mealtime usually have no problem drinking enough daily.

People can also consume water through healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that your daily intake amount can fluctuate depending upon your weight, age, sex, activity level and certain medical conditions. You will also need to consume more water if you are in a hot climate, are physically active, running a fever, or losing fluids through vomiting or diarrhea.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget to drink enough water when it’s cold outside, so find a way to track your water intake. I have seen containers you can make or buy that have levels to indicate when you should drink water (by 10 a.m., before bed, etc.) which will make you mindful of your intake. There are printable water intake sheets on the internet that can help monitor how much water you drink as well.

Below are some suggestions on how to increase your and your family’s fluid intake.

— Keep a bottle of water with you.

— Eat more foods with high water content like fruit and vegetables.

— Give children water when they are thirsty.

— Choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages when eating out. Not only will you consume fewer calories, but water is free in most restaurants (budgeting win!!).

— Think about adding fresh fruit to infuse your water, especially if you are one of those people who doesn’t like the taste of water. All you have to do is cut up fruits or veggies like lemons, cucumber, or strawberries and add them to a pitcher to pour from or add directly to your reusable water bottles.

I have seen all sorts of fancy infuser bottles you can buy, but they are not necessary to infuse your water. You can also try this recipe from Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud that tastes super yummy and will increase your water intake.

For more information on how to increase water intake and the benefits associated with it, contact the Clark County Cooperative Extension Service at 859-744-4682.

Shonda Johnston is the Clark County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. She can be reached at 859-744-4682 or by email at