“I know, I know! I should hydrate more!” This is what many people say when confronted by the fact that they would feel better and be healthier if they drank enough water on a daily basis. When you don’t get enough water, your body can’t detoxify, your mouth and mucous membranes can feel dry, and you can simply feel tired!
Your body is 60% to 75% water, so you need to keep it hydrated if you want it to perform well for you. Plus, adequate water intake has been shown to:
- Help the body flush toxins
- Improve the condition of our skin
- Prevent water retention
- Keeps bowels functioning efficiently
- Assist in weight loss (by helping you stay full and flushing toxins)
- Help all of our internal organs function more efficiently
How Much Water Should You Drink?
According to the Mayo Clinic, women should drink about 9 cups of fluids per day while men should drink about 13 cups of fluids per day. Notice that the Mayo Clinic specifies “fluids” rather than water. It is true that your body uses fluids from the food and drink that you intake daily, but be careful what counts toward your fluid intake. Coffee, for instance, is a fluid but it is also a diuretic, which means that it tends to flush fluids from your body. So drinking coffee might actually equal a negative fluid intake.
Some research also shows that some people are drinking too much water. Called over-hydration, the practice of drinking too much water can cause the salt content in your bloodstream to become diluted. As a result there is less salt available to your body’s tissues, which can affect your brain, heart, and muscle function.
So how much water should you really drink? Most health agencies and organization recommend a formula like this to get an estimate of how much water you should drink a day:
- Calculate 75% of your body weight if you are normally active and 50% if you are not active to find your daily water intake in ounces. For example say you weigh 150 pounds and are normally active, taking 75% of 150 pounds would be 112.5 pounds.
- Covert that figure to ounces (112.5 ounces).
- Add 16 ounces each for a dry climate or strenuous exercise to get your total suggested water intake. In our example that would look like 112.5 oz. + 16 oz. (exercise) + 16 oz (dry climate) = 144.5 ounces a day.
Having listed this formula, many holistic physicians also recommend that you listen to your body. Pay attention to when you are thirsty and respond by drinking water. Don’t force yourself to drink water when you’re not thirsty and don’t ignore thirst signals either. Also, most experts recommend that you spread your water intake evenly throughout the day and keep a watch on your urine for signs that you are getting enough water. Adequate water intake means that your urine will stay a light color and not have a strong or bad odor.
Water is Best
Pure well or spring water is best to drink if you can. If you can’t stand the sensation of chugging 9 cups of water, here are some ideas that might help:
1. Warm the water slightly
2. Add a fresh slice of lemon or lime to enliven the flavor
3. Add a pinch of Celtic sea salt, for taste and for health
4. Add an herbal non-caffeinated teabag for taste
5. Keep the water in sight at all times and take a few sips every time you look at the bottle.
To keep you on track, consider downloading one of the many free apps for mobile devices that remind you to drink water!
Once you’re drinking enough water you might also want to consider how you can increase your body’s ability to release toxins (which are carried out of the body by water). We suggest adding probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus, two forms of friendly gut bacteria that also act as natural antibiotics. Also, avoid drinking chlorinated water whenever possible. With plenty of water and good nutrition you can look forward to a new healthier you!
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