To Drink or Not To Drink?

We hear it all the time and read about it at every turn; Drink lots of water for good health. Why and what kind of drinks should you drink? The body is 60% – 70% water and it needs regular consumption of water to offset water depletion such as:

  • Body therapies like massage and chiropractic treatment
  • Bodily functions like skin evaporation, Breathing, Waste elimination
  • Chronic Pain
  • Pregnancy
  • Breast Feeding
  • Exercising
  • Working Outside
  • Drinking coffee/soda

Water flushes toxins out of system and transports nutrients throughout the body.  It keeps moist areas hydrated. Water helps with weight-loss by making you feel satiated. It also helps with concentration.  But how much water is necessary? The Mayo Clinic recommends for men three liters or thirteen cups, and for women 2.2 liters or nine cups. What about the eight eight oz. glasses a day. That works out to 1.91 liters which is close to the Mayo Clinic’s recommendation and is easy to remember. But there are debates as to the validity of these amounts with detractors recommending about half this amount.

Besides water, there are other fluids that have been touted to improve hydration.  Lemon Water: adding the juice of one lemon to water contains 8 grams of natural sugar and carbohydrates and potassium.  Coconut water: High in potassium (twice the amount found in a banana) and low in salt which doesn’t make it ideal for use after exercise.  Sports drinks contain minerals and sodium which mimics blood better in the stomach and thusly is absorbed quicker into the bloodstream, bringing hydration to the entire body whereas water can go to quickly through the stomach and to the bladder, bypassing most of the body.

How much to drink and which form of water is a personal decision, but no matter which or what amount to drink should be approached with moderation, except after strenuous exercise.  The eight glasses rule is a good gage of the amount to drink and maybe a mix of waters would be the best choice. The important thing to remember is hydration is a daily event, and there are factors that alter the amount of water necessary. Paying attention to this will help keep you from dehydrating. Drinking water that tastes good to you will help you drink more and keep to a good regimen of hydration.

 

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