Drinking Fluids is Absolutely Essential.
We all need to ensure our bodies are properly hydrated to stay in good health. Fluids from beverages and foods make up our body's primary source of water, which is needed to control body temperature and transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to our cells. In just leading our daily lives, we are constantly losing water through breathing, perspiring and through urine. We need to replace these fluids to stay hydrated and healthy.
The beverage industry provides multiple beverage options to meet our bodies' hydration needs, such as bottled water, 100 percent juice, sports drinks, ready-to-drink teas and soft drinks. In fact, water is the predominant ingredient in carbonated soft drinks. Regular soft drinks are made up of 90 percent water and diet soft drinks with zero calories are 99 percent water.
How much fluid do we need to stay hydrated?
At some point, we have probably all been told to drink eight glasses of water a day. But the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (IOM) has specific recommendations for total fluid intake - which includes drinking water, as well as the fluid obtained from all the foods and beverages we consume. According to the IOM, adult men and women should aim for 11-16 cups of total fluids a day, while children and adolescents need slightly less, about 9-14 cups per day. However, active individuals and the elderly may have special needs and should consume more fluids than the above guidelines. Adults and children can consume a wide variety of fluids each day, including water, milk, juice, tea, sports drinks and soft drinks to meet their hydration needs. For all the appeal beverages generate from a taste standpoint, it's easy to forget they exist for an essential reason.