How much water should you drink each day? This topic is discussed constantly and before we answer how much, I think it’s important that we understand just how incredibly important water is to the body.
Water is the most important “nutrient” in the body. It makes up about 55-60% of our total body mass and is found in all tissues. You can go about eight weeks without food, but only a few days without water.
The roles of water in the body are pretty incredible.
Here’s a list of some of the important things water does to support the body:
Improves oxygen delivery to the cells
Enables cellular hydration
Cushions bones and joints
Regulates body temperature
Removes wastes and flushes toxins
Prevents tissues from sticking
Improves cell-to-cell communications
Maintains normal electrical properties of the cells
Empowers the body’s natural healing process
As you can see, daily water consumption is essential for a healthy body.
Did you know that a dry mouth is the very last sign of dehydration? This means that if your mouth is dry, you’re not just thirsty – your body is telling you that you are experiencing extreme dehydration!
“The pains of dehydration include dyspeptic pain, rheumatoid arthritis pain, anginal pan (heart pain on walking, or even at rest), low back pain, intermittent claudication pan (leg pain on walking), migraine and hangover headaches, colitis pain and its associated constipation, and false appendicitis pain.” Dr. Batmanghelidj
So how much should we drink?
A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. So, a person weighting 150 pounds should drink at least 75 ounces of water each day. Keep in mind that alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeine-containing beverages don’t count as water.
Here’s an easy way to get in the habit of drinking more water:
- Drink a cup of water as soon as you wake up.
- Drink 1-2 glasses of water about 30 minutes before breakfast.
- Drink a cup of water about 2 1/2 hours after breakfast.
- Drink 1-2 glasses of water before lunch.
- Drink a cup of water about 2 1/2 hours after lunch.
- Drink 1-2 glasses of water about 30 minutes before dinner.
- Drink a cup of water before going to bed.
A good way to tell if you’re getting enough water is to look at the color of urine. “A well-hydrated person produces colorless urine—not counting the color of vitamins or color additives in food. A comparatively dehydrated person produces yellow urine. A truly dehydrated person produces urine that is orange in color.” F Batmanghelidj, M.D.
Don’t underestimate the power of water for your health! Water is the cheapest form of medicine for a dehydrated body.