How Much Water Should You Drink?

Do you know that your body is estimated to be up to 60 percent water, the brain is composed of 70 percent water, and the lungs are nearly 90 percent water? Lean muscle tissue contains about 75 percent water by weight, as does the brain, body fat contains 10 percent water, and bone has 22 percent water. About 83 percent of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature.

At least 20 percent of the water that your body needs will come from the foods you eat. The rest will come from the beverages you drink. Water is probably the best choice.

More: The New Rules of Hydration

Joints

Water lubricates your joints and allows them to move freely. The connective tissue around joints needs plenty of water to maintain elasticity and allow ease of movement.

Digestive System

Water is the main ingredient in all of the processes needed to break down, digest, and excrete our food. Water carries nutrients to the cells through the blood. Water helps to extract and distribute the necessary water-soluble vitamins from food such as Vitamins B and C. Chronic dehydration may result in weight gain, poor muscle tone, water retention, and digestive problems such as constipation and kidney stones. For every 25 pounds you exceed your ideal weight, you should increase your water consumption by one 8 oz. glass.

More: Stay Hydrated with High Water Content Foods

Kidneys

The kidneys constantly filter the blood, concentrating wastes and sending them out in your urine. When there isn't enough water, your kidneys have to recycle dirty water as they work to remove the wastes from your body. Over time, dehydration may damage your kidneys. When the kidneys don't have enough water to function well, the liver takes over some of the kidney's work, decreasing its ability to convert stored fat into energy—which can result in weight gain.

More: The Diet Detective: Hydration Basics

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