How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?

 

Written by Jeff Roberts

By now, you’ve likely heard the spiel about water: it’s very important.

Despite this being common knowledge, there are those who still consider coffee or soda as ample H2o substitutes, when on the contrary these types of drinks are notoriously loaded with sugar and caffeine, and therefore have counteractive health impacts compared to drinking just water.

Purified water is really the only beverage option for optimal health. But how much should you actually be drinking? Surely you’ve heard the commonplace recommendation of 8 glasses per day, however, this number may actually be too much for some, and not enough for others.

Assessing Your Own Body’s Need

The amount of water you need depends on varying factors, including how physically active you are, or even what climate you live in.

Luckily our bodies come equipped with an attentive water detection system called thirstOnce your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty.

But while this gauge may be helpful in a general sense, by the time you actually feel thirsty you may already be dehydrated. One report found that about 75% of Americans are dehydrated regularly.

There are a few other signs that may be a signaling that you are dehydrated as well, including dark coloured urine, dry dull skin, fatigue and even mood swings.

What Your Urine Is Telling You

A simple rule of thumb for assessing your water needs is by looking at the colour of your urine. Dark urine likely indicates your kidneys are retaining fluid to maintain normal body functions. However, this isn’t to be confused with darker urine due to supplement intake, such as multi-vitamins.

If you are dehydrated, you will also likely urinate less often. According to Dr. Mercola, a healthy person urinates about 7-8 times per day. So monitoring how often you are urinating in a day is an important assessment tool.

Who Is Most Affected By Dehydration?

The elderly population are more prone to dehydration for a few reasons, including taking high amounts of prescription drugs, or not having the proper mental capacity to get the right intake of water. According to BBC:

“A 2013 analysis of death certificates by the [UK] Office for National Statistics had shown that 1,158 care home residents suffered dehydration-related deaths between 2003 and 2012.

But Dr. [Lee] Hooper said those figures were not clear-cut as patients often stopped eating or drinking towards the end of life. She also stressed that while care homes could sometimes do better, it was important to point out that identifying dehydration and solving its causes was complex.

’The reasons older people do not drink enough are that as we age we lose our sense of thirst so they may not be thirsty. [Or they] decide not to drink because of continence issues, because they don’t have as much social contact or because of frailty or forgetfulness.’”

For these reasons, it is especially important to be aware of how much water an elderly person is drinking if you are caring for them.

What Kind Of Water Should You Be Drinking?

If bottled water is your go-to option for your drinking water, you may actually be damaging your health.

Industrial chemicals like bisphenol-A and bisphenol-S (BPA/BPS), as well as phthalates, leach from the plastic itself into the contents of the bottle. BPA and BPS are estrogen-mimicking chemicals linked to reproductive defects, learning and behavioral problems, immune dysfunction, and prostate and breast cancer. Phthalates are also endocrine disruptors, and have been linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, as well as liver cancer.

Installing your own water filtration system is one of the best steps you can take towards optimizing your health, next to getting your drinking water from a natural spring. Distilled water is actually a bit acidic, so drinking this type of water regularly isn’t ideal.

A good quality water filtration system is one that clears out all the contaminants, such as volatile organic chemicals, heavy metals, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and fluoride. 

Furthermore, adding lemon, lime, or even orange slices is not only a great way to add extra flavour to your water, but it also helps with easing constipation and urinary tract infections, boosting your immune system, cleansing your liver, and improving your skin.

Being Your Own Judge

Drinking pure, clean water is absolutely essential in maintaining great health. But exactly how much water we should be drinking varies based on many factors.

If you are in warmer climates, then most likely you are losing more water through your sweat and therefore need to be drinking more than someone living in a colder climate.

If you are physically active, then you should definitely be drinking more water. Another thing to consider is how much fresh fruits and vegetables you eat on a daily basis. Many fruits and vegetables contain high levels of absorbable water, here are a few examples:

frutis

Other lifestyle factors that indicate you should be drinking more water include alcohol consumption or taking prescription medications.

Again, assessing the frequency and colour of your urine is a great way to see if you are getting enough water. Dark, infrequent urinations usually signifies dehydration. On average, a healthy number of bathroom visits is around seven or eight per day, and you want the colour of your urine to be a light, pale yellow.

Originally posted @ Collective Evolution

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