There Are Juices, Sports Drinks, and More. But Don't Forget Simple Water
No doubt about it: water is the single most important nutrient. None of the vital functions of our bodies - from regulating our temperature to creating new cells - could occur without it. Water lubricates joints, regulates temperature, and provides the body with minerals and essential fluids. Doctors recommend that we drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. You need more if you're physically active, or if it s excessively hot.
Dehydration can cause serious health problems. Normally, this is prevented by the sensation of thirst, which encourages you to drink when the body needs water. But this mechanism is unreliable: water may not always be available when you're thirsty, or you may lose very high amounts of water from your body in a short period of time. It pays to be alert to the following signs of dehydration:
- Severe thirst
- Dry lips and tongue
- Increase in heart rate and breathing
- Skin that looks dry and loses its elasticity --Urine passed in small quantity and dark colored
How can you tell you're drinking enough water? Drink enough so that your urine is consistently pale. And remember: drinking enough water is especially important in a hot climate, or when suffering from a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
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