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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Water

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Water in these foods counts toward your daily needs and they’re nutritious, too

Photo: Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

The human body is 55–60% water, and it needs a fresh daily supply for proper digestion, to keep organs functioning, joints lubricated, and otherwise stay healthy. But you don’t have to drink all the water you need. You can just eat some of it. Fruits and vegetables all contain water, and many are mostly water.

There’s no formal federal guideline for how much water you need, but independent groups say the average adult woman should consume about 11.4 cups of fluid per day and men should take in 15.6 (a cup equals eight ounces).

The total amount of fluid can…


Illustration: Matija Medved

Optimize Me

It’s a recipe for dehydration and kidney problems

Optimize Me is an Elemental column exploring (and fact-checking) the weirdest self-improvement trends. It comes out every Tuesday.

Women on Instagram are not drinking water, and they’re proud of it.

For the first time I did [a] 24h dry fast, (apart from 5 sips of green tea around 11am when it got too cold) and I’m stoked… I can’t believe it took my dad one year to convince me that food is just another attachment and conditioning and that there are people living without water and food.

No water for me since 4 months now. Since I start to…


The electrolyte-boosting tablets are an alternative to sports drinks for endurance athletes. But what do they do for the rest of us?

Photo: Nuun

Countless companies have tried to reinvent water. They’ve infused it with vitamins, electrolytes, or rock salt for “better body balance.” Most of these, as Elemental has previously reported, are plain old H2O in an overpriced bottle. But what about hydration that doesn’t come in liquid form at all?

Nuun is a Seattle-based brand that has a loyal following of endurance athletes. Its electrolyte and vitamin-infused tablets dissolve into water and create what the company calls a “refreshingly effervescent hydration beverage.” …


The Elemental Guide to Water

Everything you need to know about bubbly water and your body

This story is part of The Elemental Guide to Water, a five-part special report on the health benefits of water, the science behind seltzer, the truth about fancy H2O, the safety of tap water, and how much water you really need to drink.

Sparkling mineral water, seltzer, club soda — whatever you call it, carbonated water has permeated the market to the point of canned cocktails and anti-aging face wash. But how does it match up to regular water? Is it healthy for your body (or your skin)? Can you drink too much of it?

Health experts, for their part…


The Elemental Guide to Water

The answer is murky

This story is part of The Elemental Guide to Water, a five-part special report on the health benefits of water, the science behind seltzer, the truth about fancy H2O, the safety of tap water, and how much water you really need to drink.

Tap water is a modern marvel. Unless you’re an octogenarian, you probably don’t know any other way. With just the turn of a faucet, Americans have access to H2O. But is it safe to drink?

In cities like Flint, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Detroit, Newark, and others, where improperly treated water and aging pipes have been responsible for leaking…


The Elemental Guide to Water

When being parched feels like the end of the world

This story is part of The Elemental Guide to Water, a five-part special report on the health benefits of water, the science behind seltzer, the truth about fancy H2O, the safety of tap water, and how much water you really need to drink.

Let me set the scene for you. It’s 4 in the afternoon on a Tuesday — any Tuesday. I’ve been working since 8 in the morning. Nothing particularly bad has happened. It’s a typical day, full of typical tasks. But then, it happens: This creeping sensation that everything is awful. …


The Elemental Guide to Water

Is there any benefit to drinking alkaline water, electrolyte-infused water, or ionized water?

This story is part of The Elemental Guide to Water, a five-part special report on the health benefits of water, the science behind seltzer, the truth about fancy H2O, the safety of tap water, and how much water you really need to drink.

Everyone has a favorite water these days.

There’s alkaline water like Bai Antioxidant Water, which claims to have a pH balance of 7.5 to help neutralize the acid in your body and ensure you don’t “throw your body out of its delicate balance.”

Hydrogen water like HFactor infuses hydrogen molecules into plain drinking water, with the promise…


The new recommendations are short and simple

Photo: RUNSTUDIO/Getty Images

Several leading medical and nutrition organizations just issued new recommendations on what the youngest children — infants through age five — should be drinking.

On the list: breast milk, infant formula, water, and plain milk.

Not on the list: juice or anything else.

The reasons: Sugar-laden beverages, even real juice, are bad for teeth and known to be a key contributor to the nation’s growing obesity epidemic, as well as deadly heart disease. …


The Elemental Guide to Water

Scientists have a totally new understanding of thirst

This story is part of The Elemental Guide to Water, a five-part special report on the health benefits of water, the science behind seltzer, the truth about fancy H2O, the safety of tap water, and how much water you really need to drink.

The well-known “8 x 8” rule — you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day — is not only daunting, it’s unfounded. In fact, nobody is sure where the idea came from, and science doesn’t support it. “It has no basis in fact,” says Michael Farrell, a professor at Monash University in Australia, who studies…

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