Cobb County Government

WATER - The Sixth Essential Nutrient

There are six essential nutrients that each person should incorporate in their daily diet. These include water, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, protein, dairy products, and fats. Water, ironically, is the nutrient that people name last, but it is the most important nutrient in terms of our survival. If we abstain from all six nutrients, we will die first from dehydration. Water is involved in maintaining a safe pH(acid/base) balance and many metabolic functions.

There is a difference between drinking water and drinking fluids. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks do not count as water intake. Because these drinks most often contain caffeine, a diuretic, you lose water when you ingest these fluids. If you drink caffeinated beverages regularly, you should increase you water intake to compensate for the water loss. Coffee, tea, and soft drinks contain chemicals, preservatives, and additives which need to be metabolized by your liver and kidneys. The recommended intake of water is eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. As a rule of thumb, drink a liter of water for every 1,000 calories you eat. If you exercise, weigh before and after you exercise and replace the difference with water. To avoid dehydration, it is better to pre hydrate than to re hydrate. One of the first signs of hydration is fatigue. Drinking your water, will give you more energy to help meet the challenges of your day. Here's to your health!