A question I get asked often in my practice is "how much water should I drink?" The answer to this varies person to person. Often times you hear the phrase to drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water per day. Although this is an excellent measurement to base water consumption on, there are other factors to consider when trying to reach an adequate hydration goal.
Most people are not great about water consumption, and quite honestly water can be an excellent "fix" to help with a lot of ailments. Every cell, organ, and tissue in our body needs water to function properly. Water not only hydrates our cells, but it eliminates waste through our urine and stool, regulates our body temperature, lubricates tissues and joints, and helps in protection of our vital organs. Factors that take away water from our body include exercise, perspiration, hot weather, drinking soda and other sugary drinks, bowel movements, and pregnancy or breast-feeding.
I tell patients all of the time that the best measurement on how well-hydrated you are is the color of your urine and the frequency in which you urinate. "Healthy" looking urine should be a pale or light yellow. Dark urine especially with a strong odor means you are behind the hydration gauge. Often times if you are feeling thirsty, your cells are already in the dehydration state. Also, if hunger feelings start it is best to drink water first, as thirst signs can easily be mistaken for hunger pains.
Every morning you should start the day by drinking a glass of water at least 16 ounces in size. It not only awakens the organs and digestive system after sleep, but it jump starts your metabolism, flushes out toxins, awakens the brain and nervous system, and even can aid in weight loss by curbing your appetite for a short time. Your body has been hard at work while you sleep, and you should replenish that hard work with water first thing. I also suggest if possible to drink an alkaline water with a pH of 8 or higher, especially first thing in the morning. Also, if available room temperature water is best for optimal absorption and digestion throughout the day.
Tracking water consumption can just seem like one more thing to have to do during our day. My advice is to simply try to substitute water in a few places where you normally wouldn't. Start your day with 1-2 glasses or water, have water with lunch or keep a bottle at your desk with you during the work day. When the afternoon hunger hits start with a glass of water before you have a snack. Try to drink a bottle to and from your commute to work. Drink a glass as you're getting ready for bed. A trick with my kids is they take water bottles that can have fruit infused to school so that they drink more throughout the day. Small changes to your water consumption daily will have large effects on your overall health!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Nicholas J. Knutson, DC
MOUNTAIN ISLAND CHIROPRACTIC
10917 Black Dog Ln., Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28214
Tel (704) 394-8556
Fax (704) 395-8556
"If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." JV