Does Coffee Count as Fluid?

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“Stay well-hydrated” is one of those time-tested pieces of nutritional advice you’ve been hearing your whole life — and likely still fail to follow. In a national survey of 2,000 American adults conducted by OnePoll for the brand Evian, less than one-quarter reported drinking eight or more glasses of water […]

“Stay well-hydrated” is one of those time-tested pieces of nutritional advice you’ve been hearing your whole life — and likely still fail to follow. In a national survey of 2,000 American adults conducted by OnePoll for the brand Evian, less than one-quarter reported drinking eight or more glasses of water a day.

Why are all those fluids so critical? Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they play a role in regulating body temperature, mood, and cognition. And, according to the Sleep Foundation, being well-hydrated may lead to better sleep.

But hydration can be surprisingly tricky. Most of us don’t think to drink until we feel thirsty — and by then, we may already be dehydrated. And the effects of dehydration go beyond thirst. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, headaches, and muscle cramps according to the Cleveland Clinic. Scientific literature indicates that cognitive function can take a hit when you’re running a mere 1 to 2 percent low on bodily fluids. (So swigging some H20 may be a good way to fight off brain fog!)

Adding to the confusion is the fact that there is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for water or fluids. You may have heard the old adage that you should have eight 8-ounce (oz) glasses of water each day, but hydration needs vary by gender, activity level, and even the climate. Plus, roughly 20 percent of our fluids come from the food we eat.

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