Dr. Anna Lundeen
What's all the fuss about water?
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
It sounds like a broken record, right? Drink more water!
Are you sick of it? I get it, but I wanted to take a minute
to talk about how life changing it might be if you stopped resisting and started drinking. Because let's be honest...sometimes it really is that simple.
OK, so what's the big deal. To get scientific, it is true what they say, absolutely every aspect of our body requires water to function. Your skin needs it to remain stretchy, your joints need it to stay lubricated, your blood needs it to flow and maintain a healthy blood pressure, your brain needs it to fire nerve impulses, your GI tract needs it to process and absorb your food, and the list goes on and on. Down to the cellular level, we require water molecules to operate even the most basic functions. And you can't efficiently clear out toxins if you don't drink enough water.
What does it feel like to be dehydrated?
In a word...yucky. Common symptoms include fatigue, muscle tension, joint pains, headache, dizziness, confusion, constipation, and that's just the beginning. Honestly, the list makes me feel like I am writing an ad for a pharmaceutical product. Bottom line, this is something within our control, and if you aren't feeling 100%, why not do what's in your control and see if it makes a difference.
So how much water should you drink?
Take your current weight. Divide it by 2. Drink that many ounces of water per day.
Example: A woman weight 160 # requires 80 ounces of water per day.
This is your baseline. If you work outside in the heat or have a long workout, you need to increase. If you are fighting off any type of illness, you need to increase. If you live in a particularly dry climate, you may need to increase. Another way to tell if you are hydrated is if you urinate, your urine should be clear.
A few things to keep in mind.
Caffeine and alcohol can both act as diuretics so these don't count in your overall fluid count. If you currently don't drink much water, when you first increase your intake, you will find you urinate a lot more than normal. If you continue hydrating for 3-4 days, you reach a new normal and your body adjusts. The initial phase is your body starting to detox and adjust to this new normal.
So how can you get started?
• Calculate your water requirement (weight divided by 2 in ounces).
• Add 10 ounces of water to your goal for every hour of exercise you perform.
• Start early. If you can drink 20 ounces of water in the morning before your first cup of coffee, you are much more likely to continue to hydrate all day.
• Keep track. Until you adjust to your new normal, you may need to actually track your intake.
• Forgive yourself when you inevitably miss the mark a few days per week and strive to improve.
Remember, health doesn't have to be complicated. Often it is the simplest of things that make the biggest difference. So get your drink on!!!