Americans Don't Drink Enough Water
January 02, 2008
There was a fascinating statement issued last week by the Nutrition Information Center at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. While 2 out of 3 Americans responding to a survey know they should drink eight 8 oz. servings of water daily, 1 in 2 admits not getting enough.
The survey also shows people may be "drinking themselves to dehydration" by consuming too many alternative water-robbing beverages. The net result is that most Americans are probably only getting about a third of the valuable hydration benefits they need.
Water makes up more than 70% of solid body tissue and helps regulate body temperature, carry nutrients and oxygen to cells, remove waste, cushion joints, and protect organs and tissues.
Lack of adequate water intake leads to headaches, grogginess and dry, itchy skin. Severe dehydration affects blood pressure, circulation, digestion, kidney function, and nearly all body processes.
In the survey, only 21% of respondents said they drink eight or more glasses of water daily, 35% drink three or fewer servings, and 9% drink no water at all. This means the average American consumes only 4.6 servings of water daily.
The survey also showed that overall, the average American drinks nearly eight daily servings of hydrating beverages such as water, milk, juice and decaffeinated soft drinks.
However, they also drink nearly five servings of caffeine- or alcohol-containing beverages that act as diuretics, causing the body to lose water through increased urination.
The vast majority aren't drinking enough water to begin with, and, to make matters worse, many don't realize that beverages containing alcohol and caffeine actually rob the body of water.
Nearly one third of survey respondents did not know the body needs as much water in cold weather as it does in warm weather, and many did not know that thirst lags behind the body's need for water.
Dr. Mercola's Comment:
This is a terrific review of the importance of water. I was surprised to find that one in ten people drinks no water at all! It is important to drink one quart of water for every 50 pounds of body weight. This would work out to one half gallon for every 100 pounds. Ideally it is best to drink the water continuously all day long, rather than drink one quart four times a day.