- How much water to drink?
- Is drinking too much water a problem?
Drinking water is a very popular subject these days, and the need for "8 glasses a day" is a debated recommendation.
You may be familiar by now with the fact that we need to drink water and the related health benefits. The question is how much to drink a day and what is safe to do?
The fact is that the necessary quantity of drinking water depends on age, weight, environmental conditions, or activities we do.
There seems to be a consensus between what I read from Dr. Batmanghelidj's books and information from NIH and other medical gurus on how much water to drink:
A mature person doing average activities and living in a temperate climate, uses the equivalent of about 10-15 cups of water a day for their essential body functions (like breathing, brain activity, blood circulation, digestion, locomotion, perspiration and elimination).
For the daily drinking water needs, the National Institute of Health recommends about 13 cups for men and about 9 cups for women.
What susprizes me though, is that medical autorities online, count the food, and other fluids into the quantity of water needed per day. I'm really not sure they are right - just take a look:
Generally speaking, yes, water constitute a good part of the food we eat, so that counts to the the total quantity of the daily water intake.
However, not all foods and beverages are made equal:
1. Fruit and vegetables for instance, contain more water than meats
2. Proteins, fats and sugars will use more water to be metabolized... you will actually need to drink additional water to help the process. (French nutritionists actually recommend a glass of red wine with heavy foods)
2. Baked foods or stews contain a fair amount of water, not to mention soups, while fried foods contain very little water, or none at all.
3. An even more dangerous category and a big health concern would be fast foods and processed foods, which are loaded with chemicals, artificial flavors or colors. By eating these toxic foods your body will consume more water to process and eliminate the toxins. - See the water nutrition facts page
As I described in the importance of drinking water page, the metabolic functions of the body depends strictly on pure water. Other fluids including popular soft drinks contain chemicals that can affect the body's chemistry with unwanted consequences.
All beverages containing caffeine are diuretic - you can notice that after you drink them eliminate more liquid than you got from them.
Children especially have to avoid this kind of fluids as a water subsitute that can lead to child dehydration
There are cases when some people need an increased quantity of drinking water
- Drinking water is a must for people who are constipated
- 1 or 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning will be very effective in eliminating wastes from the body
- Elder people need to drink more water
With the age, the thirst sensation gets weeker and the shortage in water over time, translates into health problems like: circulatory and heart problems, increase in blood pressure, arthritis, kidney stones, to say the least
- Pregnant and Breast-Feeding Women Need to drink more water too, in order to supply the liquid needed by the growing fetus/baby
- Children Need To Drink More Water than Adults
- Avoid child dehydration which can affect their overall health and development!
As I'm coming from a family of medical doctors, I remember being told by my mother that the color of urine should be pale yellow, and if it turns more orange, this is a sign of dehydration. I hope that this will be a helpful tip for you too.
Kidneys are powerful chemical factories that perform the following functions:
- remove waste products from the body, including inorganic minerals
- remove drugs from the body
- balance the body's fluids
- release hormones that regulate blood pressure
- produce an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- control the production of red blood cells
The excretion can only take place if there is enough water to dissolve all body's wastes, (which inside the kidnes become uric acid and urea). In the case of water shortage, the wastes cannot be eliminated and are deposited inside the body, fact that can lead to kidney stones, or other health problems.
So, the explanation for strong smelling or dark urine could simply be that you are not drinking enough water and your urine is very concentrated. This is actually one of the first symptoms of dehydration.
* The same applies to skin odor. If you feel that
a bad odor persists on your skin even after bathing, this is the result
of too much accumulation of toxins. Drinking water will aid in
eliminating them from the system. - Detoxification is even
more important to longevity than good
Some people, especially the elderly, tend to avoid drinking too much water because they are afraid this will result in mineral loss. They are right.
Drinking water in excess (over-hydration) can unbalance the electrolytes in the body over the safe limit. In order to prevent eventual over-hydration you have to make sure you supply your body with the needed minerals from food, including salt.
In case you are doing endurance sports or strenuous exercises, acute dehydration may occur. In this case, drinking water is not advised, because it can shock the body. Water will be replaced with some sport drinks, which will replace the electrolytes you lose when sweating. These are generally made with salt, sugar and citrus natural flavors - you can do electrolyte beverages yourself at home too.
- Honey water is the ultimate sports drink, and it's a great idea to keep a bottle of it with you when you workout or perform extensive exercises. - says Jan from health-benefits-of-honey.com
I think you got the idea of how much water to drink - Do you know how to make yourself drinking enought water? Here are some Tips