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People try to eat foods high in fiber, that is nice, but what about water?

The human body is about 60-70 percent water. It is such an important substance that one would die within 3 days without drinking water. While water plays countless functions in the body, some of the essential roles include helping food digestion, carrying nutrients, removing waste, acting as cushion for organs and maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. Many people already know that eating adequate dietary fiber will help prevent constipation but it will not work without having enough water. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along the digestive tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon absorbs water from stools to maintain hydration and the result is constipation.

The amount of water needed by each person on a daily basis depends on the age, sex, and activity level. Also, hot and humid weather will increase one’s needs. Generally it is recommended that men 19 years old and over should aim for 3L and women 19 years old and over should aim for 2.2L each day. Although total fluid intake can include other beverages such as milk, juice, soft drinks etc., water is one of the best fluid choices because it does not contribute to extra calories.

A sedentary person loses on average about 2.5L a day and this amount of fluid needs to be replaced by intake. Dehydration occurs when one loses more fluid than the intake. Some obvious signs and symptoms of dehydration include thirst, dry lips and mouth, flushed skin, tiredness, irritability etc. One can become dehydrated even before the signs appear. Therefore, it is important to drink fluids regularly even before feeling thirsty. Light yellow and clear urine is usually a good indicator that someone is drinking enough fluid.

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