Drinking water, either plain or in the form of other fluids or foods, is essential to your health. The human body is made up of over 70% water and is designed to run on water and minerals. We are constantly losing fluids from skin evaporation, breathing, urine and stool. Adults lose nearly 12 cups of water every day and these losses must be replaced for good health. Water is so important, especially during the heat of the summer. It can help prevent headaches, fatigue, and even hunger. If you do not retain enough water, your body will become dehydrated which often leads to low energy, joint pain, back pain, mental confusion, stomach pain and ulcers.
An average, non-active person requires a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. That works out to ten 8 ounce glasses a day if you weigh 160lbs. For every additional 25lbs you exceed your ideal weight, increase it by one 8 ounce glass. For individuals who are more active and athletic, a 2/3 ounce per pound of body weight of water is required each day.
Here are a few tips to help you get lots of water into your body:
- Set a computer pop-up/alarm to remind you to drink water. Most of my patients sit at a desk all day and are often so busy that they simply forget to drink. Just set a reminder and we don’t have to try to remember ourselves!
- Drink a large glass of water before you eat your breakfast. This gets your day started on the right foot and can help decrease your appetite for those of you who would also like to lose a couple of pounds.
- Drink an extra glass of water for each cup of caffeinated tea, caffeinated coffee, or alcoholic beverage that you consume. This will reduce the dehydration effect that these diuretics can cause.
- Keep drinking and don’t wait for your body to signal it’s thirsty.
- At home, keep a supply of water containers full in the fridge. At work, keep a large glass or pitcher of water on your desk at all times. You will drink more if water is always on hand and conveniently available.
If you would like to learn more about this topic or any other topics related to naturopathic medicine, please book an appointment with our naturopath.