The healthiest nonalcoholic drink for New Year celebrations is water. It is recommended that for every alcoholic drink consumed, an 8-ounce glass of water should follow. Alcohol is a big dehydrator; water is needed, especially the morning after the night before.

Water is vital every day. It makes up 85 percent of the blood and 75 percent of muscle. About 22 percent of bones are made of water. Our bodies are 60 percent water.

It moistens oxygen and lungs for breathing. It cushions joints while moving. Blood vessels require water to move blood and oxygen around the body.

It helps to convert food to energy and is needed for the entire gastrointestinal tract to function. Water helps the body to absorb nutrients and also to remove wastes.

Fluid is necessary to regulate body temperature and the flow of hormones. Water is also vital to the brain and spinal cord while exercising. It acts as a shock absorber during walking, running or jumping. Dancing is impossible without enough water.

Water prevents dehydration which may lead to tiredness or muscle weakness. Many people complain of fatigue and listlessness; they may need to just add water.

Fruits are an excellent source of water. Watermelon is over 90 percent water. Vegetables can also provide a nutrient-rich source.

Milk, coffee, tea and soup are hydrating. Juices, sports drinks and even sodas add water, but they also can add extra sugars. You can lower the sugar content by diluting them with more water.

In the past, it was believed that coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas were dehydrating, but that theory has been debunked. The diuretic effect does not offset hydration.

To some people the taste of water is disagreeable for a multitude of reasons. Purchasing bottled water is an option. Also, lemon, mint or cucumber can add to the flavor of water.

The amount of water needed daily differs with the size and activity of a person. Traditionally, 8 to 10 daily cups of water or fluid have been recommended. Many studies have disproven this urban legend. Regardless, it is a valid rule to follow. If you drink more than needed, the body just eliminates it.

A person can check the color and output of their urine to determine a hydration level. Urinating every two to four hours, the output is light-colored with significant volume, that’s well-hydrated.

If a person is sweating, they are losing water and needs to drink even more than usual. A very simple and easy way to monitor hydration is to watch the clock. If a person goes from 8 a.m. in the morning to 4 p.m. in the afternoon without peeing, then they are dehydrated.

Feeling tired, cranky, and moody or a headache may be dehydration. So water is important for healthy skin, hair and nails. It controls body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. The best solution is to: “Just add water.”


Bobbie Randall

Contributing columnist

Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Dunlap Community Hospital, Orrville, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected].

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