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Americans getting enough fluid, but not much water

In addition to healthy eating and exercise, getting enough fluids is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, most Americans get their recommended amount of daily fluids, but about two-thirds of that does not come from plain water.

How much fluid should you drink each day?

2004 guidelines from the Institute of Medicine suggest that adult men should have about 125 ounces of fluid a day, and adult women should have 91 ounces a day.  This is about 15 cups  a day for men and 11 cups a day for women.  Most of this should come from plain water or healthy fluid sources, such as unsweetened beverages and fruits and vegetables, as well as low-sodium soups.

And the study says…

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control showed that on average, Americans are getting their fluid requirements with about 117 ounces a day for men, or 14 cups, and 93 ounces a day for women, or about 12 cups. However, only about one-third of this was from plain water.  The rest of this fluid was from other fluids, such as soda and juices, or through food sources.

The study suggests that most of the fluids consumed by Americans are calorie-dense, which can mean taking in too many calories without realizing.  This can lead to weight gain over the long term.  Younger adults, Caucasians, and the active consumed the most plain water.

What can I do to drink enough water each day?

Costco carries healthy beverages that enable you to have enough fluids each day while staying within a healthy lifestyle:

  • Plain water is best.
  • Milk and 100% juice are the most nutritious, but be aware as too much juice adds extra calories and sugar.
  • For most people, low-fat milk, such as 1% or non-fat skim, is the best choice.
  • Stick to unsweetened teas and low calorie juices; vegetable juices contain less sugar and fewer calories than fruit-based juices.
  • Eat water-based fruits, such as oranges, grapefruit, and melons, in moderate amounts instead of drinking fruit-based juices.
  • Limit soda intake or stick to low-calorie or sugar-free sodas. Diet soda and sugar free drink mixes offer calorie-free options that are made with artificial sweeteners.
  • Try seltzer water or sparkling flavored water to get the bubbly and sweet taste of soda without the extra sugar and calories. Sparkling water with lemon or lime is a refreshing and naturally low fat and low calorie option.
  • When eating soup, choose low-sodium, low-calorie broths that you can see through, such as chicken, beef or veggie bouillon, or tomato-based broths.
  • Limit how many sugary sports drinks you consume, and instead carry a water bottle with you during the day to encourage yourself to drink more plain water
  • Vitamin water is fortified with vitamins and other nutrients, but may still be adding calories to your diet. Check the labels carefully.
  • Stay active so you’ll want to drink more; drink plain water or unsweetened fluids before, during, and after physical activity to help you meet your daily fluid needs

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