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Q: Do I really need to drink eight glasses of water a day?

Posted July 10, 2013 in Advice Column, Des Moines West

A: Water makes up between 55 and 60 percent of your weight, and it can’t be stored.

In fact, we actually lose nearly 12 cups of water every day — through perspiration, (especially in the summer), urine, breathing and even the soles of our feet. And if we wait until we’re thirsty, we’ve already been operating at less than optimal hydration for several hours.

Water provides the environment for all our cellular functions, and a little dehydration can cause fatigue and headache, and, if you’re trying to lose weight, can actually slow the weight loss process.

One way to keep track of water is to carry a water bottle. Having it with you makes it even easier for you to get your water, no matter how busy you get. Non-caloric flavor infusers can add variety of taste, and some flavored waters are good fluid sources. (Just watch for too much sugar, artificial ingredients or stimulants.) And, sorry to say, alcohol and caffeine cause us to excrete fluids and are not a substitute for good old-fashioned water.

So developing the habit of getting enough water is crucial for health and an easy one to start. And don’t forget, when you’re working or playing outside, take even more.

Information from, provided by Dr. Cheryl Child, D.O., Certified Health Coach with Take Shape for Life.

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