Why does everyone keep saying “drink more water”? Because next to oxygen, water is the most important nutrient the body needs. The human body can only survive about five days without water. Total human body weight consists of about 65-75% water. On average, the body (based on 160 pounds) uses approximately 2-1/2 quarts (or 10 cups, or 80 ounces, or 2-1/2 liters) of water every day for basic bodily functions. We need to continuously refill what is used.
Most people are dehydrated. This is a simple, easily corrected reason for many symptoms, from constipation to headaches to skin problems to possibly more serious problems. Your need for water can also be misinterpreted as hunger. Try having a glass of water when you feel a little hungry. Thirst is not a measure of fluid requirements. If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.
How much water does the body require? A guide for how much water you should drink is 1/2 ounce for every pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds, you should drink 65 ounces, or 8 cups, of water every day. If you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces, or 12-1/2 cups of water every day.
This is what the average person needs with average activity levels just to stay hydrated. If you get a lot of physical activity or the weather is hot you will need even more water. Your urine should be a pale, yellow color. If your urine is a darker yellow, your body is not getting enough water. Juice, coffee and soda pop DO NOT count as water. Actually, coffee and soda act as a diuretic, which means they actually pull water out of the body. Coffee and soda are also very acidic and it takes many cups of water to neutralize the acid one cup creates.
Think about it. What does every animal on the planet drink? Water. After their mother’s milk, that’s it. Pure water.
How can I drink that much water? You should drink water throughout the day. Don’t drink large amounts of water all at once. Sipping water all day ensures that your body will use the water. If you are just beginning to include water in your diet, start slowly to allow your body time to adjust to the increased levels of water. Increasing your B-complex may also help your body absorb and use water. Some people find it easiest to make up a container that holds your ideal daily water requirement each day. Some find a few large glasses may be easier than many smaller glasses, or vice versa. Just don’t drink large amounts of water with or just after a meal because this dilutes your digestive “juices”.
Try adding one of the following to your cup of water, hot or cold, to provide flavor and some added nutrients: fresh lemon or lime slices or freshly squeezed juice; cinnamon sticks or your other favorite spice; a healthy electrolyte mix; herbal and/or green tea. Be inventive.
Tomorrow we will talk about protein.
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