Water is the foundation of life. We could not exist without it. The most important of all nutrition, water makes up between 55–60 percent of our body composition. Different cells contain different amounts of water. For example, bone is about 22 percent water, and muscle is about 75 Percent water.
HOW WATER WORKS
Water has many important jobs. It dissolves and transports substances, catalyzes chemical reactions, lubricates tissues, regulates temperature and provides minerals. Without a good balance of fluids, we risk serious health issues and even death.
Did you know that bodybuilders and swimsuit contestants use water manipulation in the days leading up to their competitions? Drinking more or less water can affect the way your muscles look and stand out. Dieters who cut out carbohydrates notice significant weight loss initially, which is mostly water weight since carbohydrates hang on to water in your body.
Tony Benson, communications coordinator at Rochester Public Utilities, says Rochester residents are lucky to have an extremely clean source of drinking water. Our water comes from aquifers, is treated minimally and is fortified with chlorine, fluoride and a polyphosphate blend. Benson says that RPU collects and tests over 1,200 water samples annually, the results of which are published on their website. He assures Rochester residents that our water is safe, and he encourages people to use tap water to reduce the waste of bottled water, especially since it isn’t necessarily tested as much as municipal water.
You may have noticed in some schools and public places that the water fountains have a separate place to fill your own bottle. There’s even a running count of how many plastic bottles are being kept out of landfills because of reusing your own bottle.
If you’re looking for a filtration system, Culligan sells a reverse osmosis service for your home. It removes virtually almost all contaminants in the water, and you can use this water for everything. This also cuts down on plastic bottles.
The standard advice is to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. This isn’t a magic formula; it’s just a pretty catchy way to remember generally how much to drink. But remember, water is in many other things besides your glass. Fruits and vegetables can be more than 90 percent water, and other beverages contain water.
If you’d like a formula for how much to drink, use this calculation: for every kilogram of body weight, ingest 30–40 milliliters of water. However, if you are sick, exercising, menstruating or in a drier climate, you will likely need more water.
HOW CAN I DRINK MORE?
If you are not drinking enough water, here are some ideas for increasing your fluid intake. Get a fun water bottle and keep it with you at all times. Create a goal for how many times you’ll fill it up in a day.
Cut up different fruits and put them in a big jug of water that you keep in the fridge. This gives you a taste boost to your water and gives you extra nutrients as well.
Use a sparkling water (I like Klarbrunn) and pour on top of frozen berries for a yummy faux cocktail in the summer. When it’s chilly, try warm water with lemon and flavored teas.
Do you want your water and your caffeine too? Look no further than Water Joe. According to JD Seger, national brand manager for Water Joe, in 1996, before the energy drink boom, a college student who didn’t like the taste of coffee but wanted the caffeine, decided to take a shot at producing a drink that would be just water and caffeine. He says when people have it for the first time they expect that it will taste funny, but it tastes just like water. In a 700-mL bottle, there is about 85 mg of caffeine.
What about adding sweeteners and powders to your water? I am not a fan because they are just empty calories, but if it is the only way you’ll drink more water, give it a try. Have a goal to incrementally decrease the amount of additives you put in your water until you can drink it just plain.
Now, go get a drink of water!
Emily Watkins is a personal trainer in Rochester and is traveling to France this summer.