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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


IGLESIAS ROSADO, C. et al. Importance of water in the hydration of the Spanish population: FESNAD 2010 document. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2011, vol.26, n.1, pp.27-36. ISSN 1699-5198.

For any healthy individual, thirst is an appropriate sign to drink water, except for babies, sportsmen, and most of ill and elderly people. In these instances, it is convenient to schedule appropriate times to drink water since great demands and the physiological mechanisms that determine thirst in these situations may condition water unbalances with important consequences for health and the physical and intellectual performance. The human body has a number of mechanisms that allow keeping constant the water content by adjusting intakes and wastes. Water balance is determined by intake (consumed water, beverages, and water contained in foods) and wastes (urine, stools, the skin, and expired air from the lungs). Failure of these mechanisms and subsequent impairments in water balance may produce severe disarrangements that may threaten somebody´s life. In the present document, we analyze the evidences regarding the factors conditioning water needs in the different life stages and physiological situations, as well as the consequences of water unbalance under different situations. A proper hydration may be achieved by feeding and the use of water and other liquids. Although water is the beverage by excellence and represents the ideal way of restoring the losses and get hydrated, we should be aware that, from the very beginning, we have sought other liquid sources with hydration properties. In the last decades we have increased the consumption of different beverages, with a proliferation of sugar-containing beverages. Since excessive sugar consumption has been related to obesity and other chronic conditions, it is evident that the use of these caloric beverages should be rationalized, especially in children. In this document all the considerations regarding hydration are presented and different recommendations are exposed.

Keywords : Water; Hydration; Thirst; Carbonated beverages; Elderly; Child; Population.

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