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Hydration Nation

The launch of First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “Drink Up” campaign brings an important issue into focus: hydration. From every breath we take to regulating our body temperature to speeding essential nutrients to our cells, fluids are essential to staying in good health. And fluids from beverages and foods are the primary source of our body’s water. We at Americans for Food and Beverage Choice applaud the “Drink Up” initiative – which makes clear this important message: hydration is key to staying in balance and complements an active lifestyle.

Drink Up!

Life is hectic. Juggling the activities and responsibilities that make up our daily routines can be challenging, and when it comes to our body’s balance, it’s depleting. As each day moves forward, we lose water from breathing, perspiring, and so forth. That’s why replacing these fluids is crucial to staying hydrated and healthy. 

Fortunately, today there are myriad choices that support the hydration of people on the go. Bottled water choices abound – including spring, purified, mineral, artesian or sparkling. These convenient, portable options are readily available. Therefore, achieving the “Drink Up” campaign’s objective of consuming more water is very doable – and an important component of our overall health. 

How Much Is Enough? 

While the common conception is that eight glasses of water a day should be the norm, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies of Sciences offers more detailed recommendations. According to IOM, total fluid intake from all of the foods and beverages we consume, should amount to 11-16 cups per day for men and women, and 9-14 cups daily for children and adolescents.

Of course, a related goal of “Drink Up,” which is an initiative under the umbrella of the “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign, is to become more active. After all, it’s balancing total calorie intake with exercise that helps achieve a healthy weight. And as our activity level increases, so too should hydration – with our needs expanding beyond the requirements outlined above. In addition to water, a wide variety of fluids including sports drinks, milk, and juice, can help people meet their hydration needs.

Lasting Improvements for Long-Term Health

Looking at the big picture, consumers are perfectly capable of making informed choices regarding the beverages and foods that are right for them. Partnerships and industry initiatives can help empower people with the information and education to make decisions that benefit their long-term health. For this reason, the beverage industry has partnered with the “Drink Up” campaign, as well as voluntarily launched the Clear on Calories initiative and Calories Count Vending Program. Each of these efforts strives toward a common goal: to help consumers make mindful choices to achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

It’s these types of partnerships and programs that are already making a positive difference in the health and wellness of Americans. This progress will continue to unfold, making a real and lasting impact in communities across our country. 


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