Maintaining Fluid Balance

Fluid balance, like energy balance, is determined by the ratio of fluid losses to fluid intakes. With dehydration, water loss exceeds intake and fluid balance becomes negative. The average person loses 1,000 ml to 2,300 ml (1.0 to 2.4 quarts) of water per day. This water is lost in the urine, in stools, in sweat, and through breathing. When activity levels are low, most fluids are lost through the urine. When activity levels are high or the temperature is high, most of the fluid is lost through sweat. In fact, up to 2,000 ml (2.1 quarts) per hour can be lost through sweating, depending on the temperature. To maintain fluid balance you must consume enough fluids each day from:

  • Water in beverages (water, fruit juices, milk, sport drinks).
  • Water in food (fruits, vegetables, soups, meats, grains).

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