Weatherford Democrat

June 8, 2014

EXTENSION NEWS: The essentials of water

Weatherford Democrat


What is odorless, tasteless and has no calories, but is something we need everyday? Water.

Water is an essential nutrient that every cell, tissue and organ of the body needs. In fact, our bodies are made up of about 75 percent water. As a rule of thumb a person can survive about three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food, depending on their age, size and condition. 

Some functions of water include: 

• transporting nutrients, oxygen and waste.

• Helps medication to work properly.

• Keeps skin, eyes and mouth moist.

• Helps prevent constipation.

• Helps temperature regulation in the body.

Healthy adults of all ages need about six to eight glasses of water every day. During hot, humid weather or strenuous activity, fluid loss may be much higher, so fluid intakes should be higher too. Here are some easy ways to add water to your diet.

• Take frequent water breaks throughout the day.

• Start lunch or dinner with a cup of soup.

• Take a bottle of water with you when you go out.

• Drink milk during meals.

• Enjoy decaffeinated teas and coffees.

• Take time out with a friend to share a beverage.

Foods including fruits and vegetables contain water as well. Watermelon is about 90 percent water, apples 84 percent, and broccoli and carrots about 90 percent.

Dehydration can occur in people of all ages including older adults, infants, children, athletes or anyone on a hot day. If you are experiencing signs of dehydration, replace lost fluids immediately. If symptoms persist, see your health care provider:

• Thirst, dry mouth, flushed skin

• Fatigue

• Headache

• Dizziness, weakness

• High body temperature

• Increased breathing rate, rapid pulse

• Dark yellow urine

• Skin that stays in a pinched position