Nutrition 101: How Much Water Is Enough

Smiling woman in sportswear drinking water against white backgroundYou know that our bodies primarily consist of water. Water is essential to several bodily functions, not to mention Earthly functions. I admit that I’m not a fan of drinking water. I need to make it easy on myself by drinking flavored water. I’m not talking about water with sugar added to it. I stick with hot tea such as Green Tea, Oolong or detox teas. I also infuse my water at home with fruits such as strawberries, cucumbers, or lemon. (Technically cucumber is a fruit, but mainly used as a vegetable). Sometimes I throw in a bit of ginger. The other consideration is quality of water.

There are a number of toxins found in our water such as antibiotics and obesogens. Our drinking water contains fluoride which is widely known to help with keeping teeth strong, but did you know it’s also a neurotoxin?   I avoid drinking water from a plastic bottle whenever humanly possible. I use a BPA-free stainless steel canteen (aluminum leaches into water and plastics can accumulate bacteria). For one thing, it’s just an unnecessary waste. Plastic bottles can contain BPA which has been shown to contribute to weight gain because it mimics estrogen. If you must drink from a plastic bottle make sure it’s a BPA-free bottle. The other aspect of bottled water is the debate on whether or not it’s any better than tap water. I’ve recently been doing some research on this. There are a growing number of people that believe, toxins aside, that bottled water does nothing for us, in fact it may be harming us. The distilling process or reverse osmosis may actually be killing the water we’re drinking. Water should be providing minerals and electrolytes but because processing strips the water of these nutrients, it causes the water to strip minerals from our bodies. These are theories, nothing proven as yet. However, for me, the toxins alone in water are enough to make me consider changing my drinking/cooking water in my house.

Now on to the question. How much water do you really need? The eight 8-ounce glasses per day was always the standard, there are no studies to support that. It has the same origins as the dietary chart (pyramid) the government uses. How much water you need depends on your lifestyle. The average healthy woman should consume about 2.7 liters a day, a man about 3.7 liters. If you’re an athlete or work out regularly, add more water on top of that to replenish lost fluids. This requirement also changes with the climate. In the hot summer months increase your intake to prevent dehydration. The good news is your water intake from coffee, tea and water-packed foods (watermelon, lettuce, cucumbers) count toward that goal. If you juice at home, even better.

Your kidneys regulate the amount of fluid in your body so count on them to keep the system balanced. Healthy people can also rely on thirst as an indicator of when they need more water. If you experience excessive thirst despite good water intake it may be a sign of diabetes. The kidneys use every bit of water to flush excess sugar from the body that the insulin couldn’t absorb. Those with urinary tract infections or kidney stones can also benefit from increased water consumption as well.

Why should you drink water? The benefits are:

  • Help with weight loss – water is essential to help burn fat and escort released toxins from the body
  • Good for the skin – again, all about clearing toxins out of the body
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Protects joints
  • Moisturizes the air in our lungs
  • Helps fuel the muscles

You will know you are well hydrated because liquids will start to flow through you like the Nile River and your urine will be fairly clear.

Reach for a big glass of water right now. Spread the word, like this post and share with your friends. Let me know how much water you drink and share some of your water recipes with everyone.

 

REAL TALK | REAL THINGS | REAL RESULTS

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