indexFirst lady, Michelle Obama tells us that drinking more water will improve the health of kids and all Americans.

Really? Here’s what we know.

According to the University of Michigan…

  • True, water is one of the most important nutrients, but there’s not much guidance on the recommended amount of water needed daily.
  • A person’s thirst mechanism regulates hydration in the body, and most people get an adequate amount of water just by paying attention to that mechanism.
  • The average person loses about 10 cups (2.5 liters) of water every day, which should be replaced.

The bottom line?

  • Drink water before, during, and after exercise.
  • Carry a water bottle if you feel you need to have it handy.
  • Water is better for hydration vs sugar-sweetened beverages, such as fruit drinks, sport drinks and regular or non-diet soft drinks.
  • Add lemon, cucumbers, or other fruit/veggies if you think it will help you drink more.

Who is at greatest risk of dehydration?

  • Infants and children
  • Older adults
  • People with chronic illnesses
  • Endurance athletes
  • People living at high altitudes
  • People working or exercising outside in hot, humid weather

Remember, some health conditions, such as kidney disease, require people restrict their fluid intake. Talk with your doctor if you have questions.

9/12/13 12:22 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.