The Forgotten Nutrient

With the summer heat I’m constantly thinking of hydration.  Water is crutial in the body and is very often the “forgotten nutrient.”

Nutrition Lesson Time:

There are 6 Groups of Essential Nutrients

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Fats & Oils
  3. Proteins
  4. Vitamins
  5. Minerals
  6. Water

These six nutrients are considered ESSENTIAL because our bodies need them to survive.

The first 3 (Carbohydrates, Fats & Oils, and Proteins) are energy providing nutrients.  They are the only 3 that provide our body with calories, and are often referred to as macronutrients since our bodies need them in large quantities to function properly.

Vitamins & Minerals are referred to as micronutrients since our bodies need them in relatively small quantities (it doesn’t mean they’re less important!).   These micronutrients support many important bodily functions, and when deficiency occurs, consequences are seen.

The last one is water, and it is often forgotten as an essential nutrient.  Your water intake is more than just the water you drink, but it also comes from places such as juice, soups, fruits and vegetables.

What role does fluid play in your body?

  • Dissolves & transports substances throughout the body
  • Accounts for blood volume
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Protects & lubricates our tissues

These roles are all incredibly important for good health, and also rather complex in nature!

How much water do you need?

  • Intake is extremely individualized (athletes need more, and those in humid environments need more)
  • DRI for adult men 19-50: 3.7 liters of total water day (food & liquids), or about 3.0 liters of beverages
  • DRI for adult women 19-50: 2.7 liters of total water (foods & liquids), or about 2.2 literes of beverages
  • Athletes should replace every pound of weight loss from sweat with 16 ounces of liquids.

Is bottle water better than tap?

  • Americans drink approximatley 7.5 billion gallons of bottled water each year!
  • There is no evidence that says bottled water is better.
  • In fact a lot of bottled water may be tap water packaged.
  • Some types of bottled water have minerals added.  Check the label for sodium, some have quite a bit and if you need to watch your sodium intake beware!
  • If you use your own filtration systems at home make sure to change the filter appropriately.
  • If you drink out of a cooler at work, make sure it is cleaned once a month (run 1/2 gallon of white vinegar through it, and rinse with 5 gallons of water)
  • For more information about tap water safety visit: http://www.epa.gov
  • For more information on bottled water visit: http://www.bottledwater.org

Drink up!

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7 Responses

  1. EXCELLENT post!! It’s especially vital to pay attention to hydration during these hot summer months.

  2. Does water used in making coffee count? I am always conflicted about this question.

  3. LOVE this post!! So much good information! 😀

  4. What an informational post! Thanks for posting about this. I’ve always been a tad confused with the macro vs. micro nutrients stuff.

  5. This is so helpful and interesting! I’m currently doing the AFPA nutrition certification (just for fun, I still hope to become an RD one day) and I just read about this. Your post is a concise summary of the chapter…I might print it for my notes! 🙂

  6. […] told you about the role of water in this post here, but I’ll recap why our bodies require […]

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