WATER

"Water, water everywhere...".  I know... you drink LOTS of fluids all day long.  The plain and simple fact is that most of us do not drink enough water.  Sodas frequently have sodium and caffeine, juices and sports drinks have a large amount of sugars.  Here are some interesting facts about water:

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Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half world pop.) 

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In 1/3 of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger. 

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Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%. Feeling groggyTry a glass of water.

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One glass of water shuts down midnight hunger pangs for most dieters.

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Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue

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8-10 glasses of water a day  significantly eases back, muscular, and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. (Don't know about you...but pain sure makes me "testy"!)

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A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page. (maybe this is why my check book never balances) 

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Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer. 

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Drinking plenty of water improves digestion and also prevents constipation.  (Well for sure the second part makes me cranky...I know that when we have changes in a patient's behavior, constipation is one of the first considerations.)

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Water improves many skin conditions such as acne,  eczema, dry skin and rashes. (Nothing can deflate my good mood faster than a big zit right in the middle of my forehead!)

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Increase your water intake if you are in a warmer climate, doing strenuous activities, or are running a fever,  grab for the water before you grab for the tylenol or aspirin.  If you have an  extremely high temperature call your doctor.

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If you do drink caffeinated beverages, add two 8 oz glasses of water for each 8 oz of caffeinated beverage.  Caffeine is a diuretic,  it leads to dehydration.  Caffeine is also a stimulant, and can lead to nervousness, sleeplessness, and irritability.

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We lose water in many ways from our body, about 2 quarts a day, approximately  1 pint from breathing,  the rest from normal sweating, urination, and bowel movements.  When we are ill we lose at a much faster rate.

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Drinking one 8 oz glass of water prior to a meal reduces the amount you feel like you "have to eat" by about 25%.

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The Average adult needs at least 64 oz of water daily. Those taking certain medications such as lithium and those over 200 pounds may need a little more. Check with your doctor, especially if you have a kidney or heart disorder. Don't drink your water all at once... spread it out over the day.

A NOTE OF CAUTION:  You know the old saying..."too much of a good thing"...well it applies to water as well.  Drinking too much water can flush natural essential chemicals out of your body called electrolytes.  It can also dilute your medications.  This is a very serious condition.  Water Intoxication can lead to  disorientation, mental confusion, seizures and even death.

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