Monday, June 29, 2015


Staying hydrated is key to good health

W.C. Fields is credited with saying, “I never drink water. I’m afraid it will become habit-forming.” I realize he was only joking, but Fields didn’t look like the healthiest person from his pictures. Maybe he should have heeded the current medical advice that drinking water and staying well hydrated is one of the most important health habits we can practice.

A person can survive for a few miserable weeks without food, but only about 4-5 days without water.

Here are some interesting facts: Did you know that the human brain is about 75 percent water? Even our bones are almost 22 percent water, while our hearts are 79 percent water.

Every day, we lose 2-3 quarts of water through urination, sweating and breathing. That shows how important it is that we replace our fluids regularly to compensate for this loss.

Almost everyone has been told we need to drink more water. But how much is enough? The most common recommendation is six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Some people need more, some less, depending on their health status, how much they exercise, and how hot and dry the climate is. A physician once told me, “just pay attention to your mouth and lips – if they are dry, you’re thirsty and need more water.”

I hear complaints every day that “water is boring” or “I just have to force myself to drink water.” It’s a common complaint. Here are some tips to help drink more water:

• Flavor the water — squeeze a few drops of lemon or lime juice in water for a refreshing boost.

• Put a slice or two of cucumber in a reusable water bottle.

• Carry a reusable bottle everywhere and take sips all day long – it will add up.

Water is clean, refreshing and calorie-free. So, pour yourself a glass and drink to your health!

Alice Facente is a community health nurse for the Backus Health System. This advice should not replace the advice of your personal health care provider. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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