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How much water should you drink?

Written by: Louise O'Brien Date of published: .

Just how much water should you drink is a regular question I get asked as I massage my clients when I mention that their skin is dry and their muscle tone and elasticity is not as it should be, indicating that they are dehydrated. Over and over I encourage my clients to drink water adequate for their body size only to hear:
  • I try but its cold, I drink more in summer
  • I never feel thirsty
  • I drink more during the week than on the weekend
  • I don’ drink water but I have plenty of tea, coffee, milk and soda daily
  • I know I need to drink more but I don’t like water
How much Water Should I drink? Perhaps understanding the importance of water will enable you to make your daily consumption of it a much higher priority?

What does water do?

Firstly, approximately 60% of our body weight is from water and without adequate amounts of water, nutrients, oxygen, and other hormones cannot be transported around our body efficiently. According to Bruce Fife “water is a lubricant that lubricates our joints, protects our brain, facilitates digestion and elimination and is a medium for all chemical reactions to occur within the body”. Adequate hydration is essential to help you age well.  Dr. Batmanghelidj who has done extensive research into water says that “our body is crying out for water” and he claims that “many degenerative illness that we suffer from today are not as a result of aging but rather chronic dehydration”. (Dehydration is a state where the body is in constant need of more water). He shows through well conducted research that the following conditions are a major result of inadequate water intake:
  • High blood pressure
  • Migraine headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back pain
  • Chronic constipation
  • Colitis
  • Heartburn
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Obesity
Other research has also linked chronic dehydration to increased risk of:
  • Kidney stones
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Bladder cancer,
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Aches and pains
  • Mental health issues
 

Dehydration is linked to arthris

Dehydration causes damage to cells that leads to inflammation, swelling and pain.  For example arthritis can occur when joints become dehydrated and tissue damage occurs.  Back pain can occur when discs between the vertebrae become dehydrated and as a result bone and muscles twist out of alignment causing stress. Dr Batmanghelidj’s explains in his book ‘ Your Body’s Many Cries for Water’ that he has successfully treated thousands of people simply by having them drink more water.  Many of these people have suffered with health problems for years and despite the drugs were not getting better. Their problems were not related to a deficiency in pharmaceutical drugs but to a chronic lack of water. You might ask, “Why don’t doctors or pharmaceutical companies talk more about drinking water”. How would it affect their income if simply drinking more water could solve many of your problems?

How much should I drink?

When asked “how much should I drink on a daily basis?”, a very good rule of thumb is to drink a litre of water for every 23.8kg of our body weight (round up to 25kg for the ease of calculation).  For every coffee and glass of alcohol consumed drink the equivalent amount again in water.  Coffee, tea and alcohol are diuretics and pull the water from your organs and which is then excreted in your poo and pee. So put simply if you weigh 75 kilos you need around 3 litres of water a day or 100 kilos you need 4 litres a day and a little more if you are drinking diuretics or are in a warm environment. This may sound like a lot, but your body has a lot to do in order to function properly and water plays an absolutely vital role that must not be neglected.   A key to being well hydrated is to approach it with discipline. Measure the volume of what your glass or water bottle will hold. Many glasses hold between 250 to 300mls.  The average water bottle holds 750 to 1000mls. When you get up in the morning drink at least 600ml before you eat-that’s about two large glasses.  It will help to stimulate your metabolism and break your overnight fast.  Before you leave home drink another 300ml. Remember water is literally your fountain of youth, your body will literally shut down without it. So when you get tired of drinking water, remind yourself that it will help you to live well and age well. Many of those aches and pains will disappear and you may just start to feel the best you ever have.  

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References:

Eat Fat Look Thin. Second Edition. Bruce Fife. N.D. Piccadilly Books Ltd Colorado Springs, CO Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. F.Batmanghelidj, 1997: Global Health Solutions, Falls Church VAFacebookmail

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