The earth is covered 70% by water. We, humans, are comprised of at least 60% of water. The percentage is higher as babies and then decreases as we get older. Next to air, water is the most necessary element for our survival but unfortunately, most people are not getting enough of this vital element.
To put things into perspective let’s look at how much water we typically expend throughout the day. On average an individual will lose about 80 ounces a day of water through breathing, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. That is about 230 gallons per year. If you’re in a hot climate or doing heavy exercise you will lose even more. Wow! Now that’s a lot of water. If you’re not replenishing your body, you are going to be in a deficit.
So how much water should you drink to fill back up? Well, that's tough to figure. One would think to just fill the 80 ounces lost but depending on the temperature, the physical activity, and even the person, that figure is a mystery. A good way to stay hydrated is to drink half your body weight in ounces per day. If an individual weighs 200 pounds, then 100 ounces of water would work. A 150-pound person drinks 75 ounces and so on and so on. We are talking water here, not soda or Kool-Aid. Good ole fashion, fresh, high-quality H2O. Just like the saying we are what we eat, we are what we drink as well, and soda is not a good building block for the human body. Drinking coffee, sodas, sports drinks and other drinks do not count. The body must digest the other junk found in those drinks before it can use the water in it. Also, many of those drinks are considered diuretics and will flush the fluids right out the body. Water, water, water.
However, don't get too carried away and drink too much water though. The results can be dangerous so don't go overboard. If some are good that doesn't mean more will be better. A little advice…. don’t just start off full bore tomorrow with increasing your water intake. Increase your water intake a little more water each day. Take a few days or a week to increase to 50% of your body weight. Allow your body to get used to the change, and by your body, I mean your kidneys. Listen to your body though. If you're hitting the bathroom too often decrease the water just a little bit. If you are not being active enough and not expelling the water, then your body will get rid of it another way and that is right down the toilet.
So now that you know how much to drink, let’s talk about when to drink. Or better yet, when not to drink.
When you drink right before, during, and right after a meal you dilute the stomach acids which can cause problems with digestion. A good habit to get into would be to stop drinking 30 minutes before a meal and start back drinking again an hour after eating. If you drink during the meal at all, make it baby sips. If you were out at a restaurant a couple could get away with sharing a single small glass of water. I'm sure the waiter wouldn't think you were cheap.
When food does not get digested properly, the unbroken pieces leave the stomach and slip into intestines where the nutrients should be getting absorbed but cannot. These types of issues cause nutrient deficiency, food allergies, gas, bloating, and more. Proper digestion is one of the most critical aspects of our well-being and step one would be to not dilute your gastric juices by having too much water when you are eating.
We now have discussed how much to drink and when to drink, now we should talk about the kind of water to drink. If you're going to put half your body weight in ounces into your body, you should ensure that you are drinking high-quality water. It is scary to learn what is coming out of our taps these days with landfill runoffs, lead in the pipes, the added chlorine, and fluoride. How about BPA from the plastics in the bottles? Scary stuff. I would recommend high-quality spring water or better yet, reverse osmosis water. Reverse osmosis is a process where the water goes through a series of membranes and filters coming out the other end clean of chemicals, bacteria, contaminants and more. The water is actually stripped of its good minerals as well with the process, but many good reverse osmosis systems will have filters that will add back in some of the potassium, calcium, and carbon if desired. Beyond that, if you are eating properly you will be getting back the needed vitamins and minerals.
If you don't have access to spring water or bottled reverse osmosis water, you can purchase a reverse osmosis system at many online distributors or through a water filtration specialist. I have seen the systems run as low as $150 at the big box hardware stores. If that isn't feasible, there are single and two-stage filters that you could buy to run in line with the house water pipes, there are faucet mounted filters or even the water jugs with the built-in filters. There are also individual water bottles that have a small replaceable filter in it. You need to make sure the water you are drinking is clean.
The last little trick I'm going to leave you with is awesome. Start every day with a warm cup of water. The temperature of the water should be about the temperature of your favorite tea or coffee. Don't add flavors, lemon or anything else. Just plain, high-quality water. Do this first thing out of bed once you have gone to the bathroom. When you ingest the water, it will go right to work on your body flushing your cells and cleaning you out. After the water, wait for about a half hour then eat your breakfast and be on your way for the day.
To take it to another level you can do something called Sipping which is sipping hot water every 15 minutes for the whole day. This works on your lymphatic system by cleaning it out and keeping it moving. Many people’s lymphatic system is very sluggish, and this will give a great boost. If after the whole day of doing the Sipping, you are craving the hot water then do it for two weeks straight to totally work and renew your lymphatic system.
So, is all this talk of water making you thirsty for more info? To summarize we have learned:
· Drink half of your body weight in ounces each day. Listen to your body and increase it a little more each day until you reach your goal.
· Keep the water intake to a bare minimum with the meals. Let's cater to the digestive system the best we can. Making sure it's working at its optimal level is critical to our health and wellness.
· Make sure the water is of good quality. If you’re drinking the proper amount of water but poor quality, that’s a lot of toxins into the body every day.
· Water is a powerful and critical tool for our health but there are many other steps needed to reach optimal wellness.
The information out there for health can be mind-boggling at times. I have done and continuously do the research. It is what I love to do, it is my passion. You don't have to do the hard work nor do you have to face the changes alone. That's why I am here.
Let’s drink to good health!