Water is so important

Renee Diggs-Neal

July 12, 2014

In November, I wrote a column about the importance of making smart drink choices and decreasing sugar consumption. Participants of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, sponsored by North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Robeson County Center, are still learning to rethink their drink choices as part of the Eat Smart, Move More Program.

One smart drink choice is water, and EFNEP participants are replacing high calorie soft drinks by drinking more water throughout the day.

Water is beneficial in keeping your body cool, repairing or regenerating cells, pumping blood through your veins and flushing toxins out of your body.

It is so important in preventing dehydration that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set recommendations based on a person’s age, sex, and health status. The recommended amount varies from as little as five cups to more than 13 cups each day.

The amount of water a person’s body uses also depends on perspiration, respiration, urination, metabolism and digestion. It is especially important during hot summer days, humid weather, or while exercising to replenish your body with water.

People who don’t care for plain water can try a fruit-infused water recipe like this one: In a large pitcher, add one sliced lemon, 15 quartered strawberries, five twisted mint leaves, and two cups of ice. Top off with eight and a half cups of water. Store in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. When water level is about a fourth in the pitcher, add more water. This mixture can be stored up to 24 hours. Bon Appétit!

Renee Diggs-Neal is the Extension Adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s Robeson County Center.