How Much Water Should I Drink?

Jun 25, 2009 | Eating Right

Editors Note: This post is written by contributor Gina Ryan. Gina is a licensed nutritionist and Wellness coach from Hawaii. 

Water is the source of healing on the most basic level in our bodies. We tend to look at our water intake as something to do to keep from getting dehydrated and ill for over heating or even to avoid the discomfort of thirst. Somehow we have been trained to know we need so much protein, fat and carbohydrates a day yet tend to leave water to the thirst to detect. This is a grave mistake.

If you’re thirsty its too late!

We usually feel the sensation of thirst when we are already in early stages of dehydration as adults due to our thirst mechanism being inefficient. This can have us re-hydrating behind the ball all day if we are not cognizant of the need to be fueled with water just as diligently as we fuel with macronutients through out the day. Waiting for a thirst cue is much less reliable than the bodies hunger cues as the water storage is more easily depleted than the fat stores the body can pull from for caloric needs.

Why is water important?

Another critical concern is that every function of the body is dependent on the flow of water. Hormones, regulating chemical messengers and nutrients are all water transported elements. With the body being made up of about 75% water and 25% solid matter we can see the need to keep the body hydrated to be in top form. Brain tissue is considered to be about 85% water, and the water transport system will deliver to vital organs first leaving us open to many areas of water deficient disease just waiting to happen with out proper daily hydration.

Water Will have a positive affect on;

  • Stomach pain
  • Weight imbalances
  • Allergies
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Joint pain

In my experience I have seen amazing changes in chronic illnesses with the addition of water and water dense foods along with the decrease of dehydrating foods, drinks and substances. Medications themselves can be the dehydrating substances causing insult to injury to the already existing disease. Consider the last time you or someone you know went to have an illness or condition checked on by a medical professional, did anyone ask you or them how much water was consumed, how heavily they exercised and how much coffee, alcohol or diuretic herbs they were consuming? Most likely not. Why not consider this non toxic, inexpensive, and live giving substance in your own health regimen?

You can take some of the burden off the need for medications either pharmaceutical or herbal by being aware of your more basic water needs and considering the following:

Basic water guidelines

  • Minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily or half your weight in pounds equals number of ounces as minimum (30ml for every kilo you weigh)
  • Alcohol, caffeine, diuretic tea, and sodas do not count as water and actually take water out of the body
  • Try to stay ahead of thirst
  • Drink additional water for your lifestyle ex. hot climate, exercising, high stress level
  • Add more water for any chronic illness slowly as the cells need to learn to absorb at the new rate try ~ 1-2 additional glasses per day until you adjust
  • Urine color should be pale yellow, the darker urine is more concentrated and a sign of dehydration
  • Add raw watery fruits and veggies to diet
  • With higher amounts of water some additional salt may be required in the diet
  • If your kidneys are compromised be sure to check with your health care practitioner prior at adding water or salt to your diet.

Look into the type of water you use and where it comes from. Many municipal water supplies are great some are not. Bottled and filtered water give us other options to consider.

All in all it is a healthy practice to have gratitude for the water and other life giving resources we have at our disposal. A simple thought of the source the water came from and all it took to arrive in your glass is a beautiful way to slow down and totally enjoy the refreshment and healing potential it has to offer.

Is there a glass of water within your reach right now?



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