The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Here’s drinking to good health, long life

Here’s drinking to good health, long life

By Sharon Murra-Kapon/south news editor

waterMost of us know drinking eight glasses of water a day is the healthy thing to do, but few actually do it.

Some reasons for not drinking enough water include it is tasteless, it is not the first thing on our to-do list or its importance to the functioning of every organ and system in the body is not understood.

Water’s roles in the body

Water regulates body temperature, moistens tissues such as those in the eyes, nose and mouth, helps prevent constipation, helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients, carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, helps kidneys flush out waste products and lubricates joints. All these are good reasons to keep track of water intake.

“ Twenty-five percent of the human body is solid matter and 75 percent is water; the brain is said to be 85 percent water,” Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, said on his Web site.

“ Human blood is 90 percent water; muscles are 75 percent water; the liver is 82 percent water, and our bones are 22 percent water.”

Of course, everyone is different and factors such as the individual’s health, physical activity, location and
size need to be considered in order to regulate water intake.

Taking these factors into account, and knowing there is not a set standard that fits everyone’s needs, people should learn more about the body’s needs for fluids and its constant elimination of water.

Factors influencing water needs

According to a health article on MayoClinic.com, exercise, environment, health conditions, pregnancy and breast feeding are primary factors to look at.

The more people exercise, the more water they need to drink. Since the body cools itself off through perspiration, it is a good idea to drink water after working out. How much water depends on the time spent working out and the amount of sweat produced.

An extra glass of water (13 oz.) is adequate to maintain the body fluids at normal levels. Sports drinks are also a good substitute for water when working out intensely.

The environment also affects body temperature. In warm, humid places, people tend to sweat more. During cold weather, the heating system at home can cause dryness of the skin and mucous membranes (mouth, nose).

Also people who travel in airplanes often tend to urinate more and breathe faster because of the high altitude.

Conditions such as vomiting and diarrhea, fever, bladder infection or urinary tract stones require more
water intake. The same applies for women who are expecting or breast feeding.

Sings of dehydration

The body reveals several signs when it needs more fluids. They include mild to excessive thirst, fatigue, headaches, dry mouth, little or no urination, muscle weakness, dizziness, lack of concentration and constipation.

Hannah Young, NE Campus student, said she probably drinks three to four bottles of water a day and can tell when she needs to drink more because she cannot think clearly.

TCC student Melissa Buchannan said she can feel the difference when she drinks eight glasses a day.
In an article on HealthandAge.com, the American Dietetic Association reports that as one gets older, the sense of thirst diminishes and the chances of dehydration increase.

How much water is enough?

Many medical institutions recommend men consume about 3.0 liters and women 2.2 liters of fluids a day.
This amount includes the water found in fruits, vegetables, milk and soups.

Although coffee, beer, soda and tea are composed of water, they cannot replace the benefits of pure water. More likely, these drinks will cause the body to excrete fluid.

Doris Donner, an on-call nurse for TCC, said after drinking coffee or tea, one should follow up with water because coffee and tea have diuretic effects.

Nutritionists recommend drinking water with each meal, before, during and after working out and even scheduling water breaks.

Balancing water intake is highly important to health because drinking too much is as bad as not drinking enough.

The best thing to do is observe water intake and talk to a health professional about balancing it.

“ One simple element—water—can make so much difference in the life of a person,” Batmanghelidj said.

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