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A glass of water.

Did you know that water makes up more than half your body weight? Water does some amazing things for you. It helps:

  • Your blood carry oxygen to all parts of your body
  • Digest your food
  • Get rid of waste products through your urine (pee)
  • Keep you cool with sweat

Keep reading to learn more about water and health.

How much water do you need? arrow top

Water is very important, but how much do you need? Here are some tips to help you know when to drink up:

  • Always make sure to drink when you feel thirsty.
  • Drink extra water when it's hot or when you are physically active. Learn more about water and being active. Each person has different needs, and most Americans get enough water. If you want a general idea, keep in mind that teen girls usually need around 7 cups of liquids each day. Soup, juice, tea, and other liquids count toward that total.
  • Your urine should be light yellow. If it is dark yellow, you probably need more water.

What about bottled water? arrow top

Some people like bottled water for its taste or convenience. Some people buy it because they think it's safer than tap water. If you are concerned about safety, your local water department can tell you more about your local water. If you're interested in bottled water, keep a few things in mind.

  • There are different types of bottled water. Sometimes bottled water is tap water that has been put through a special process. Read the label to learn more.
  • Most bottled water does not have fluoride added. Fluoride is added to tap water in most of the United States to help prevent cavities. If you mostly drink bottled water, you may not be getting enough fluoride.
  • Bottled water has an effect on the environment, and not just because the bottles may end up in the trash. For example, shipping the water to the store creates pollution.

Ways to drink more water arrow top

Do you find water dull? If you want to make your water a little more, well, mouth-watering, you can:

  • Add some lemon or lime
  • Slip in a slice of cucumber
  • Try sparkling water
  • Add a piece of fruit or a splash of juice

Other drinks arrow top

If you are choosing a drink other than water, keep these tips in mind:

  • Limit sugary sodas and drinks like punch. These often have a lot of calories without any nutrition. Instead, choose water or low-calorie drinks.
  • Choose 1% or skim milk. Whole milk is not as good for you partly because it is high in saturated fat.
  • You don't need to drink special vitamin waters. Eating a mix of healthy foods is all you need. And some vitamin waters have a lot of added sugar.
  • You don't need to drink a lot of special sports drinks. Those are most helpful when you are being active for more than an hour at a time, especially in very hot weather.
  • Avoid energy drinks. Energy drinks often have a lot of caffeine, which can mess up your sleep and cause other problems. They also have added sugars and other ingredients that may be unhealthy.


Content last reviewed November 05, 2013
Page last updated December 23, 2013