1. Drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Pregnant and lactating women and athletes need more. Coffee, tea, and sodas do not count toward your daily water requirement. These drinks act as diuretics and lower the amount of water in your body.
2. A lack of water can significantly decrease work performance. It can also cause constipation, and can increase the risk to kidney problems and urinary tract infections.
3. Don't drink unfiltered tap water. Chlorine is the most dangerous element in most water supplies. It has been implicated in cancer causation, heart disease, and other health problems. Fluoride may also increase cancer risk.
4. Highly sweetened drinks are not absorbed and used by the body as quickly as plain water. Cold water, between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, is absorbed best.
5. Drink water regularly throughout the day. Don't wait until you are thirsty to replenish your body's water supply.
6. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water. People who eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables can drink less water.
7. Switching to a diet higher in fiber increases your need for water.
8. Athletes should not consume high-fiber foods such as whole grains, whole grain cereals, or apples right before exercise, as high-fiber foods can pull water from the body into the intestinal tract.
9. Older Americans have decreased thirst and need to pay special attention to drinking enough water.
10. Drinking more water does not increase your tendency to bloat. In fact, drinking water will decrease bloating. Salt and sodium-rich foods, imbalanced female hormones, and poor cardiac function are the most common causes for bloating.