While choices in food is important for optimum health, the most important nutrient for our human body is water….
While water does not provide the body with energy, water is probably the most important nutrient for the human body. 70% of our muscle tissue consists of water providing: structural integrity to cells; delivery and waste removal; serves as a thermoregulatory aid; maintains acid-base balance; and maintains blood volume. Proper hydration is important, with the usual 80% of the water intake is from some form of fluids, with the remaining 20% coming from fruits, vegetables, other foods, and metabolic water.
“For men and women over the age of 19, the recommended intake for water is 3.7 liters and 2.7 liters per day, respectively. These daily quantities reflect total water intake from drinking water as well as from other beverages containing water and from solid foods” (Fink, Burgoon, & Mikesky, 2009, p.250). Looking at foods with water, the following is a guideline for water content of various foods:
Lettuce 96% Chicken 63% Bread 36%
Orange 86% Beef 47% Butter 15%
Potato 80% Hard cheese 37% Cereal 5%
Other hydration guidelines to consider:
· Optimal hydration is reflected by the stimulation of urination every 1-2 hours
· Caffeine and alcohol should be consumed with moderation
· Fluids for consumption can be found in with water, milk, juices, coffee, tea, and sports beverages
Fink, H., Burgoon, L., and A. Mikesky. (2009). Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition. 2nd edition. Jones and Barlett Publishers. Boston, MA.