New studies suggest that healthy adults may use thirst to determine how much fluid they need. The Institute of Medicine made fluid intake recommendations for healthy adults to be 91 ounces (that's 11-plus cups a day) for women and 125 ounces (15-plus cups a day) for men. These guidelines include total fluid intake, not just water. This includes fluid from all food and beverages. Approximately 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% comes from food. Assuming these percentages are accurate for most of us, the recommended amount of beverages, including water, would be approximately 9 cups for women and 12.5 cups for men.

Studies have shown that an increase in water intake can cause a decrease in fat deposits. Proper hydration is necessary for kidney function or it can affect live function. The liver will slow down metabolizing fat and more fat will remain in storage. Supply your kidneys with water an every organ in your body will be able to do their job efficiently.

Larger people have increased water needs. As they consume more calories, they need more water for the proper digestion of their foods. Therefore, overweight individuals have increased water requirements.

If you have a problem with water retention, check to see if you are drinking enough water. If your body sees that it is getting enough water it will feel free to eliminate the excess stored water. If that does not solve your problem it may be due to a high intake of salt. The more salt you consume, the more water your body must retain to dilute it in order to keep an electrolyte balance in your body. There too, if you drink more water the sodium in your body will be further diluted and your body will not need to hold on to so much water.

All fluids like soup, tea, fruits, vegetables, and juice count, so drink up.

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Water is one of the most basic elements of life. Water is clean, refreshing, and calorie free. If all things are considered, it is an ideal beverage. Your body is made up of 50%-75% water. Keeping a good supply of water is essential for your body to function properly.

Figuring out how much water we need to drink has been a subject under constant debate. The old rule was eight to ten glasses of water per day. Eight cups is a safe bet, but if you live in a warm climate, working out, or if you have a medical condition requiring fluid control you may need to adjust your water intake. If you have a fever which increases your body temperature, excessive perspiration, vomiting, frequent urination, or diarrhea, you may need to increase your fluid needs.

Percent of water found in common foods:

Water (one cup) / 100%
Lettuce (half cup) / 95%
Watermelon (half cup) / 92%
Broccoli (half cup) / 91%
Grapefruit (half cup) / 91%
Milk (one cup) / 89%
Orange juice (three quarters cup) / 88%
Carrot (half cup) / 87%
Yogurt (one cup) / 85%
Apple (one medium) / 84%

Beware: Water bottles that are reused, especially in warm weather can become bacterial breeding grounds. Do not refill water bottles more than a couple of times. They are hard to wash properly. A water bottle that is meant to be refilled should be washed properly with detergent and hot water daily.