Water is an essential part of every day life, in fact every system in your body depends on it. With 60% of our weight made up of water, it plays a critical role in regulating body temperature, maintaining blood volume, cushioning joints and organs, eliminating wastes and toxins from your body, and aids in digestion. It also plays a role in weight maintenance, satiety, and managing inflammation (next blog!). However, many of us find it difficult to drink 8 glasses of water a day, and let’s face it, how would you get any work done if you did!
How much water do you really need?
Everyone’s needs are different, and vary depending on age, sex, activity level, and environmental conditions. As a general rule, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 3 L (13 cups) and women consume 2.2 L (9 cups) of water from all sources per day. This includes food!!! Approximately 20% of our daily water needs come from food, and with a conscious effort, you may be able to replace a glass or two.
Fluids by Food Group
Fruits and vegetables are a great source of water. Water however does not only come from fruits and vegetables- you can get it from every food group! Water content will vary depending on the processing and preparation methods. For example, although both made from milk, yogurt has a higher water content than cheese. In preparing a bowl of oatmeal or plate of rice, one must ensure the exact amount of water is used for best results- you then eat that water! Other preparation methods, such as searing meat in a frying pan prior to baking, helps to seal in the juices (aka the water!). The followinf table has some other examples:
|Grain Products||Meat & Alternative||Milk & Alternative|
Still not sold on water? Drinking fruit juices, coffee, flavored water, and sport drinks may help those of us who do not love water, and will therefore not drink enough throughout the day. Other tasty treats such as fruit smoothies are a great way to drink your daily servings of fruits and hydrating at the same time. Cold soups such as gazpacho can be a great meal and help cool us down at the same time.
With the heat of summer already upon us, here are some fun and creative ideas to help eat your way to 8 cups a day:
|Yogurt, low fat
|Combine ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth consistency|
- Add your favorite fruit combination (melon, pineapple, kiwi, mango)
- Use regular milk, soy milk, or silken tofu instead of yogurt
- Use less of your favorite fruit juice to get a thicker consistency (or more to make it juicier)
- Use frozen berries if your blender doesn’t crush ice cubes well to keep it cold on those hot summer days
- Sneak vegetables such as spinach into the smoothie- the kids wont even taste it!
Zucchini Curry Soup:
Onions, yellow, chopped
Chicken or vegetable stock
Milk, 1% or 2%
|Simmer zuchinni and onion in stock for 5 minutes.
Add to blender until semi-liquified.
Add rest of ingredients and mix well
Serve hot or cold
|Tomatoes, Italian (roma), fresh, washed, halved, seeds removed
Bell pepper, chopped
Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed
Garlic, clove, minced
Salt and pepper
90 ml (6tbsp)
60 ml (4 tbsp)
|Reserve some vegetables aside for garnish.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor or blender until semi-liquified texture
Add olive oil gradually
Add vinegar and stir until mixed
Serve cold, garnish