Drinking your way to health
How much water do you need?
According to the National Institutes of Health, every cell, tissue and organ needs water to function. Fresh, clean water makes digestion easier, improves circulation, lubricates and cushions joints and helps regulate body temperature.
“Water is super important,” says Elizabeth Jaramillo-Lopez, dietitian at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. “It’s probably one of the most important things for your body to function properly. Not only do you need to nourish your body with a variety of foods, you’ve got to hydrate your body, too.”
• High heat, vigorous exercise, pregnancy and breast-feeding all call for extra hydration. “If you exercise a lot, water intake is really important to keep your muscle activity energized,” Jaramillo-Lopez says. “Drinking water can help energize your body in general.”
• For visitors, the number one way to adjust to Santa Fe’s high altitude is drinking plenty of water.
• The Institute of Medicine (IOM), which recommends 13 cups of fluids a day for men living in moderate climates and nine cups for women, also says that individual needs can vary a good deal. A good rule of thumb, says the IOM, is just to “drink when you’re thirsty.”
• When tap water is a snooze, kick it up with a slice of lemon or lime, cucumber, fresh ginger or a sprig of mint. Keep a few flavored containers of water in the fridge for a quick quaff and bring one in the car when you’re out running errands or commuting.