Think fast. Which can you survive longer without, food or water? Despite that grumbling in your stomach, you can keep going longer without food than you can without the wet stuff. A few desert days without something to drink, and you're a goner. Maybe that's why so many girls are acting like camels and carrying a water bottle everywhere they go.
Water has no calories, supplies no energy, but is still the nutrient your body needs more than any other. And water acts like a pizza delivery guy who also picks up the empty boxes. It carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells throughout your body and takes away the junk your body throws out. Almost every function in your body takes place in a watery solution, from the tears that keep your eyeballs moist to the digestive juices
in your belly. About one-half to three-quarters of your body is water. back to top
Use it and lose it
Your body is constantly using and losing water. Your job is to keep replacing it. When you sweat, that's water evaporating off your skin. Sweat helps keep your body cool in hot weather and when you exercise. If you use more water than you drink, your body gets dehydrated and can't function at its best. If you're dehydrated, you may have a dry or sticky mouth, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and intense thirst. back to top
But I don't feel thirsty
Thirst is your body's signals
that your water tank is running on empty. Most of us confuse the early signs of thirst with hunger. We end up eating a snack when what our body really needs is water. Take good care of your body and drink water all day. Don't wait until you feel thirsty, especially when the weather is hot, you're sick, or you're involved in vigorous activities, like sports
. At times like these, your body needs even more water. back to top
Can't I drink cola instead?
Even though you get some of the water you need from the food you eat, you should drink six to eight glasses (at least 64 ounces) of fluid a day to keep your body running well. This means water, milk, or juice. Beverages with caffeine
, like cola, coffee, hot chocolate, non herbal teas
, and some other soft drinks, don't count because caffeine
actually drains water from your body. For every glass of cola you drink, add a glass of water to your day. That goes double for alcohol
. If you have a beer, you need to drink two glasses of water. back to top
Getting enough? Take the pee test!
Here's a good way to tell if you're getting enough water. If you pee only a small amount and it's dark yellow and strong-smelling, you probably need to drink more water. Your urine should be plentiful and pale yellow, almost invisible. If you're drinking plenty of water and your urine is still scarce or dark, tell your health professional or an adult you trust. back to top
Is bottled water better?
Some people prefer the taste of bottled water over tap water. But unless the water in your area is contaminated with lead or you are traveling outside North America, bottled water is no better or safer than the water that comes from your faucet. And tap water has the added benefit of fluoride
which protects your teeth from cavities. Drink tap water and you can flash that smile with confidence! back to top
Learn more about:
your body signals