Touro Infirmary

FALL 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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S H A R I N G H E A L T H S E C R E T S Secrets Sharing Q: A: Q: A: SHUTTERSTOCK Q: A: HEALTH Do I really need to drink eight glasses of water every day to be hydrated? The Institutes of Medicine recommends about nine cups of total beverages a day for women, and about 13 cups for men. So if you're looking for a hard number to hang your hat on, the old adage about drinking at least eight glasses of water every day will likely get you there. But keep in mind that all of these numbers are just guidelines, says Penn State sports nutrition director Kristine Clark. The best way to know if you're staying adequately hydrated is to make sure your urine is clear to lemon yellow. The real truth about how much water you should drink Q: A: Can't I just drink when I'm thirsty? Thirst is not an especially reliable indicator of whether your body is hydrated enough, so don't wait for a dry, sticky mouth to tell you that you need fuids. Stay ahead of your thirst by drinking regularly during the day. Does it have to be water, or can I drink other beverages instead? Fluids whose No. 1 ingredient is water, such as coffee, tea, juice, milk, soda and soups, will all contribute to your overall fuid intake, says Clark. The fuids in fruits and vegetables you eat count too. "But the general population would probably do themselves a favor by drinking more water [rather than other beverages]," says Clark. "Diet soda [for example] has myriad additives and chemicals, and you may not need the [extra] calories in fruit juices or drinks." Q: A: What about caffeinated drinks — won't they dehydrate me instead? Not unless you're consuming excessive amounts, such as starting the morning with an entire pot of coffee or pounding down high-caffeine energy drinks all day. If you're drinking caffeinated beverages in normal amounts, your body will still retain most of the water from them. Why does being hydrated matter anyway? "[Consuming] adequate fuids, along with a high-fber diet, keeps your intestinal tract operating at its peak performance," says Clark. "And since the gut is probably the main infuence on your total functional health, you want to have a highly effcient gut." To send a health question to "Sharing Health Secrets," please e-mail plawrence@spiritofwomen.com or write to Sharing Health Secrets, Spirit of Women, 2424 North Federal Highway, Suite 100, Boca Raton, FL 33431. w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m FA L L 2 013 SPI RIT O F WOM EN 17

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