The Importance of Water
Elisabetta P. Fernandez
Sept. 30, 2020
One of the things that I never paid much attention to besides when I was pregnant and nursing was how much water I should drink. I knew water was necessary, but why and how much do you need?
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that women get about 90 ounces (2.7 liters or 11 cups) of fluids daily from foods and drink. When pregnant, at least 10 cups, and when nursing, about 13 cups of fluids. That’s a lot of water, but 80% of your total water intake comes from beverages and 20% from food. Keep in mind that vegetables and fruits are often more than 90% water, legumes 80% when cooked, and soups and broths are mostly water. Others recommend calculating how much water your body needs to function per your body weight. In that case, divide your body weight in pounds by two, which will give you the minimum amount of water you would need per day.
I personally also add more if I’m drinking an extra cup of coffee because it tends to dehydrate me.
So why is water so important?
Water helps in the following ways:
It keeps body temperature normal.
It lubricates and cushions joints.
It distributes nutrients.
It aids with digestion and reduces constipation.
It moistens organs including the GI tracts, eyes, and skin.
It protects the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
It removes waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movement.
Remember to drink more in hot climates, higher elevation, when exercising, or when you have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.
My habit is to measure my water and have a pitcher with lemon, mint, or other fruits. I also start my morning with two cups of warm lemon water to give me a head start, and it aids with digestion.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2005.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. https://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/6#153