Drink­ing your way to health

Santa Fe New Mexican - Healthy Living - - HEALTH NEWS - — ARIN MCKENNA

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.

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