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What's What with Water: 10 Health Facts

What's What with Water: 10 Health Facts

  • Glass Half Full: Healthy Reasons to Drink Water: Persons who engage in rigorous physical activity with mild dehydration may see decrements in performance. • Dehydration disrupts mood and cognitive functioning and is a risk factor for delirium. • The kidneys regulate fluid balance and require water for filtration of waste from the blood stream and excretion via urine. • Water intake acutely reduces heart rate and increases blood pressure. • Water deprivation can lead to headache. • Water intake improves skin thickness, density, and hydration and offsets transepidermal water loss. [1]

  • Water, Water Everywhere, But How Much Should We Drink? Total water/d from all beverages and foods: women, ≈ 2.7 L; men, ≈ 3.7 L. • ≈ 80% of water intake comes from drinking water and beverages, ≈ 20% from food. • Prolonged physical activity and heat exposure may ↑ water loss and daily fluid needs. • Most healthy persons meet daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide. • Excessive fluid intake can be life-threatening. [2]

  • Happiest Hours: Best Times to Drink Water: Drinking 1 glass … after waking up → helps activate internal organs and remove toxins; before a meal → 30 min before, helps with satiety, reduces chances of overeating; before and after physical activity→ protects against dehydration; before bed → provides body with water needed to help detoxification during sleep. [3]

  • At the Heart of Hydration: Hydration is essential to efficient muscle function • Dehydration can lead to heat stroke. • During exercise, the amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn, and exercise intensity and duration. • Those who perspire heavily need to drink more. • Those with diabetes or heart disease may need to drink more. • For most, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. [4]

  • Hyponatremia with Too Much Water Hyponatremia may be classified according to the patient’s volume status: hypovolemic, hypervolemic, or euvolemic. • Hypervolemic hyponatremia may be caused by congestive heart failure, liver cirrhosis, and renal disease. • Differentiating between euvolemia and hypovolemia can be clinically difficult. • For acute severe hyponatremia, provide immediate treatment. For chronic hyponatremia, restrict fluids. • Hyponatremia may result in significant morbidity and mortality. Identifying the cause is an integral part of the treatment plan. [5]

  • “Drop” Weight with Water? Calories in 12 oz: 100% apple juice = 192, regular cola = 136, sports drink = 99, fitness water = 18, unsweetened iced tea = 2, WATER = 0. [6]

  • 99 Bottled Waters on the Wall: Is It Safe? Q: Is bottled water safer than tap water? A: Maybe, but ~25% of bottled water is just tap water in a bottle. Q: Is bottled water unsafe? A: Most bottled water appears to be safe, but some products have chemical contaminants that may cause cancer or other health problems. Q: Could the plastic in water bottles pose a health risk? A: Phthalates can leach into bottled water over time and disrupt testosterone and other hormones. [7]

  • Flavored Waters Must Meet FDA Standards Some flavored water beverages are simply water with flavoring. Others may contain added nutrients, such as vitamins, electrolytes (eg, sodium, potassium), and amino acids. • Their ingredients must meet the FDA’s bottled water requirements if the term “water” is highlighted on the label. • Added flavorings and nutrients must comply with all applicable FDA safety requirements and be identified in the ingredient list on the label. [8]

  • Does Hydroponic Mean Healthy? A diet high in vegetables may reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. • The nutritional values of hydroponically and conventionally grown vegetables are roughly equal. • Hydroponic vegetables may not need the same levels of pesticides. • Growers can maintain a consistent level of minerals within the water → plant. [9]

  • “Wet” Your Appetite With Watermelon: The naturally occurring chemical lycopene is present in watermelon—which contains about 92% water—and other fruits. • Lycopene is effective in reducing the extent of cancer insurgence, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and macular diseases. • Further research is needed to address the health-enhancing potential of watermelon lycopene. [10]

    • Cheers!

About those eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day—too much, too little, just right? Drink water before a meal or after? Does drinking water help fight hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes?

Everybody knows that drinking water is good for good health. The questions are how much, when, and why.

Click through the slides above for a concise refresher on the key health facts about drinking water. And then share them with your patients.



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