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Eat your way to 8 cups of water a day

Water is an essential part of every day life.  Your body depends on water to work properly.

  • Water plays a critical role in regulating body temperature, maintaining blood volume, cushioning joints and organs, eliminating wastes and toxins from your body, and aids in digestion.
  • Water also plays a role in weight maintenance, satiety, and managing inflammation (next blog!). However, many of us find it difficult to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and let's face it, how would you get any work done if you did!

DID YOU KNOW... In a healthy person more than ½ of body weight is water!

How much water do you really need?

Everyone's needs are different, and vary depending on age, sex, activity level, and environmental conditions. For example, if you are outside sweating in hot, humid weather you will need to take in more water than someone who is sitting at a computer all day in a temperature controlled office.

As a general rule, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 3 L (13 cups) and women consume 2.2 L (9 cups) of water from all sources per day. This includes the water that is in foods that we eat!

  • Up to ¼  of our daily fluid needs come from food, and with a conscious effort, you may be able to replace a glass or two. With more wet foods. This will help to manage a healthy weight as well.
  • For athletes and those working in a job that involves physical effort and sweating, you will need to get even more fluid to cover the sweat losses of your physical activity.

Fluids by Food Group

Fruits and vegetables are a great source of water. The following table describes the water content in some of your favorite fruits and vegetables.

Water however does not only come from fruits and vegetables- you can get it from every food group! Water content will vary depending on the processing and preparation methods. For example, although both made from milk, yogurt has a higher water content than cheese. In preparing a bowl of oatmeal or plate of rice, one must ensure the exact amount of water is used for best results- you then eat that water! Other preparation methods, such as searing meat in a frying pan prior to baking, help to seal in the juices (also known as the water!) The following table has other examples:

Still not sold on water? Drinking fruit juices, coffee, flavored water, and sport drinks may help those of us who do not love water, and do not drink enough throughout the day. Other tasty treats such as fruit smoothies are a great way to drink your daily servings of fruits and hydrating at the same time. Cold soups such as gazpacho can be a great liquid meal, getting veggies and fluids in and helping to cool us down at the same time.

With the heat of summer already upon us, here are some fun and creative recipes to eat your way to 8 cups a day:

Fruit smoothie

Try this!

  • Add your favorite fruit combination (melon, pineapple, kiwi, mango)
  •   Use regular milk, soy milk, or silken tofu instead of yogurt
  •   Use less of your favorite fruit juice to get a thicker consistency (or more to make it juicier)
  • Use frozen berries if your blender doesnÕt crush ice cubes well to keep it cold on those hot summer days
  • Sneak vegetables such as spinach into the smoothie- the kids do not even taste it!

Gazpacho Soup

Zucchini Curry Soup