Nature punch

Water (wo’ter) n. A clear, colorless, odorless and tasteless liquid, H2O, essential for most plants and animal life.

Water is the magic, yet forgotten nutrient. Water is not included in the Food Guide Pyramid, however that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It provides no calories for energy, but it is the most important nutrient because it serves as a medium in which other nutrients are transported.

In a survey of undergraduate students at Virginia Commonwealth University, researchers found that the college-aged generation is becoming a waterless society, as soft drinks, coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages and fruit juices dominate palates.

According to Winifred Conkling author of “Water: How much do we need?”, water makes up 85 percent of the blood, 70 percent of the muscles and about 75 percent of the brain. Water is a solvent, … lubricant, temperature regulator … source of trace elements and composes approximately two-thirds of your body weight. Water is the most important substance in preventing heat-related illnesses.

You lose about 64 to 80 ounces of water a day through urine, perspiration and normal exhalation.

Knowing these facts, I pose the question, if water is an essential nutrient that is necessary for so many different bodily functions, why don’t college students consume more?” Perhaps I should restate an important factor, the body needs plain water. Yes, you can obtain water from a variety of liquids, fruits and vegetables. However, plain water is the best choice when possible.

Abigail C. Mobley is an assistant professor in the division of health physical education and recreation. Contact her at