What’s the deal with drinking all this water?
We constantly hear it is important to drink eight 8-oz glasses of water per day. This equates to approximately 1.9 liters. Each day the body must replenish in the neighborhood of 2.4 liters of water per day through drinking water and consuming fruits and vegetables with a high water content. In reality how much water each individual needs varies from person to person and is determined by a variety of factors. We will get to that in a moment.
Let’s first gain a better understanding of how water really benefits us. Water is our primary chemical component and accounts for just about 60 percent of our body weight. Every system in our body relies on water. Water removes toxins from our vital organs, carries necessary nutrients to cells and allows our ear, nose and throat tissues to stay moist, so they can function properly.
Here is a list of benefits of consuming water:
Protects the Nervous System Drinking water provides the necessary protection for the brain, spinal cord and other nervous system tissues in the body. The U.S. Geological Survey states the brain is composed of approximately 70% water.
Cushions Joints Not drinking enough water can cause your joints to feel stiff and not move as freely. Water helps protect the joints and provides a cushion for them to move around.
Temperature Regulation Probably the most known benefit. Water helps keep the body cool when exposed to high temperatures. For example, when you work-out your body temperature rises and you produce sweat. In return, your body must replenish the lost water.
Flushes Out Toxins Water is an absolute necessity to move waste through the body. Water is used by the excretory organs to get rid of this waste. Not drinking enough water can cause diarrhea, vomiting symptoms due to dehydration.
Keeps Skin Moist This is a benefit that is often debated. Many experts say our skin is not like plants. Our skin doesn’t plump up and glow after drinking water. Mush of our skin quality is determined by our genes, followed by what the skin is exposed to on a daily basis. Avoiding high altitudes, low humidity, harsh winds, smoking, alcohol and stripping soaps can help prevent the depletion of the natural oils. Diet also plays a huge role in skin moisture. Consuming 3-5 servings per week of essential fatty acids (flaxseed, salmon, olive oil, walnuts, etc.) has been shown to increase skin moisture.
Avoid Dehydration– Various studies are showing the vast majority of people are suffering from minor dehydration. This is one of the easiest conditions to reverse, yet one that is commonly overlooked. Some signs of dehydration include: headache, irritability, low or no energy, weakness, cravings for sugar and salt, dizziness, darker colored urine, dry mouth, nausea and vomiting symptoms.
So let’s get back to the topic of how much water to drink. Most health experts are now recommending that we drink 1/2 of our body weight in ounces. For example, if a person weighs 150 pounds, that is 75 ounces, which is roughly 2.2 liters. There are still other factors which need to be taken into consideration when making a better determination of ones individual water intake. We found a very handy Hydration Calculator where you can figure out your recommended daily allowance. Keep in mind diet does factor in to the amount of water your body needs. If you maintain a healthy diet, approximately 20% of your water may come from the foods you eat, which means the amount you need to drink will go down slightly.
A few tips for healthy water consumption:
- Always hydrate before, during and after exercise
- If you are in areas that experience high to extreme temperatures, be sure to drink water
- Drink 2 to 4 ounces of water with every meal
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up
- Always choose pure, mineral-rich water (well,natural spring, artesian or spring water) when possible
At Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery in Newport Beach, CA we wanted to find out which bottled water rates the highest. We learned during a study performed by the Environmental Working Group only 3 of 173 bottled water products received a good rating for transparency information. Meaning they disclosed information about their water. And, only 1 surveyed Nestle’s Pure Life Purified Water discloses information about where the water comes from, if it’s purified, and if so, how, and if it’s tested, and what, if any, contaminants were found.