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How You Can Tell If You’re Not Getting Enough Water

We’ve all heard it: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Do you know what keeps the holistic chiropractor away?

Do you know what keeps the nephrologist (kidney doctor) away?

Do you know what keeps the gastroenterologist, phlebotomist, allergist, cardiologist, neurologist, and several other “ologists” away?

Water.

Fresh, clean water. I like to think of it flowing down the side of a mountain, straight from the mighty glacier to the quiet stream. Pure as the driven snow; cold and refreshing. Water.

Did you know that 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water?

Did you know that 70% of your body mass is water? Coincidence?

Isn’t that strange to think of? You would think we were all just big water balloons with bones walking around. But we are all solid mass. Unless you are sweating or crying, most of the water in our bodies is never seen by the naked eye. We almost never even think about it being there…except when we’ve just come from a long car trip.

It’s easy to go for days or months without thinking much about water, but your body is always keeping track of how much you need and how much you have. If you don’t have enough, your body lets you know – often in ways that you might not think are water-related.

That is especially true on hot summer days like we’ve been having here in Florida. In fact, most of the country has been hot this year. If you’re going to be outside all day in heat like this and not drink water, you are setting yourself up for heat stroke, which can be deadly or at least damage your brain.

Water Dehydration Can Do

Here are a handful of other conditions I’ve seen that are totally preventable by getting enough water:

Thirst

Obvious, right? But thirst is a late-stage indicator of dehydration. If you’re feeling thirsty, it means you’re already more dehydrated than you might think.

Dry Skin

If you’re having to use moisturizers every day, it’s a sign that your skin is not getting enough water. Your skin is an organ just like your liver and it needs to stay hydrated. Wounds and cuts heal more quickly when your skin is soft and moist.

Wrinkles

Want to look younger? Drink water rather than smearing expensive chemicals all over your face.

Dry Eyes

Ever wake up with sticky, goopy eyes? Drink more water.

Constipation

Your digestive system uses water to keep your waste soft and pass comfortably.

Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are pellets of waste that dried up and got stuck in your kidneys. Water would have prevented that.

Headaches

Your brain is anywhere from 75% to 85% water, and all your synaptic processes use water. Headaches, fuzzy memory, confusion, and attention deficit are all evidence of dehydration.

Cold and Flu

The mucus in your throat, ears and sinuses captures toxins and viruses and flushes them out of your body (yes, contrary to what you might have thought, your runny nose is actually evidence that your body is already healing itself). Water keeps that mucus fluid and draining. You don’t want it to dry out and pile up in your head. See “Kidney Stones.”

Lymphoma

Similar to mucus, your lymph nodes are your body’s waste management system. The toxins in your food get filtered to your lymph nodes, but then they sit there and fester like garbage unless you flush them out. Imagine a toilet without water.

Hunger

Surprising? Your late-night munchies might actually be an indication that you need more water, not a snack (eating within three hours of bedtime can mess up your sleep rhythms, too). I often find that when I get hungry, a glass of water settles it right down.

How Much Water Do You Need?

So, how much water do you need to maintain optimum health? Opinions vary about this, and it possible to drink too much water at one time. But as a rule of thumb, take your body weight in pounds and divide it in half to determine how many ounces of water you need to drink. If you weight 150 pounds, you should drink about 75 ounces of water each day. Yes, each day. Most water bottles are 16 to 24 ounces. That’s three 24-ounce water bottles a day or four 16-ounce bottles. Of course, you will need to base it on your actual weight.

Bonus: if you start drinking this much water consistently, you may find that each time you get on the scale, it shows you a smaller number. (Disclaimer: results not guaranteed if you don’t Eat Right and Move Right).

 

“But I Don’t Like Water”

Every once in a while, someone will say this to me.

And – in the interest of full disclosure – for a fleeting millisecond, a thought flashes across my mind, which I quickly dismiss. For that millisecond, in the deepest recesses of my heart, I think about undoing their adjustment. Of course, it’s awful and I would never ever ever really do it, but it’s tempting at times.

Truthfully, saying you don’t like water is one of the craziest things a person can say. Your body needs water. Desperately.

But…

There are a few other places where you can supplement your water intake in ways that taste better than plain water.

(Please notice that coffee, juice and soft drinks are not on this list. At all.)

  • Watermelon (obviously)
  • Cucumbers
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Radishes (never thought of that one, did you?)
  • Grapefruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Peppers

In addition to all the other amazing benefits you can get from these fruits (Vitamin A!! Vitamin C!! Antioxidants! Folate!), they are all at least 90% water. So, if stopping by the water cooler doesn’t appeal to you, you can pack a few of these in your lunch to increase your water intake.

In a future “Wellness Wednesday,” I’ll talk to you more about the differences between tap water, bottled water, reverse osmosis water, and several others. All water is not equal.

Thank you so much for joining me faithfully for “Wellness Wednesday.” I hope you’re learning something form it each week and sharing it with others. There is so much misinformation available online. I want people to experience their best health, but it takes knowledge. Thank you for helping me get the word out about this blog. If you’re in the Naples area and we haven’t met yet, I invite you stop by my office behind Sports Authority on Pine Ridge Road. If not, you’re always welcome to join me here.

And watch for exciting news I have coming up in the next few weeks.

“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.”  — Eric Thomas

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