The Health Benefits of Drinking Water

One of the best things you can do for your health — drink plenty of water — is one the easiest and most important too! Because our bodies are made up of 70-75 percent water, it is extremely important to replace it every day.

On average, your body loses approximately 10 cups of water every day while regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients and oxygen, carrying away waste and helping to detoxify your kidneys and liver.

Here are some healthy water tips:

1. “Eight” is not always the magic number for water. Of course, you have probably heard that eight 8-ounce glasses of water is the rule of thumb. I don’t necessarily agree with that philosophy.

My recommendation is that you base your water consumption on your weight and your level of exercise. For example, take your body weight and divide that number in half. Whatever the result, that is how many ounces of water you should drink in one day. If you weigh 140 pounds, you should consume approximately 70 ounces of water a day. If you exercise, that number should increase.

Doesn’t it make sense that if people are different sizes and have different exercise routines, they should consume different amounts of water? The standard of “everybody” needing 8 glasses of water a day simply doesn’t apply to everyone. I think it makes more sense to treat individuals like individuals with different needs.

2. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Take water with you when you run errands or travel to and from work. Keep water on your desk at work. Instead of a coffee break at the office, switch to a water break! Developing consistent plans to drink water will help you develop a healthful habit!

3. There is no substitute for water. One of the main surprises that some of my clients get is when I tell them that tea and coffee don’t count toward your water consumption each day. But they have water in them, you say? Yes, they do, along with chemicals that affect the body and in most cases actually cause a diuretic affect in the body, which causes dehydration. So in other words, only water is water. Drink it, not coffee or tea. Alcohol also is extremely dehydrating, so for every glass of alcohol, consume an extra glass of water to help with the dehydration.

4. Increase your intake of water when you’re exercising. Take frequent water breaks while exercising. Drinking extra water when you have finished exercising to replace perspiration lost during the exercise is advised. It is important to compensate for the amount of fluids you lose when exercising, so drink up!

5. Hungry, you say? Drink a big glass of water. Sometimes the body plays tricks on us, so you might mistake hunger pangs for dehydration. Dehydration symptoms can include dizziness, minor headaches and lack of mental clarity. Some of those same symptoms could also be due to low blood sugar if you’re close to needing a meal. If you’re unsure, make sure you try the water first! (And incidentally, if you’re trying to lose weight, drinking a large glass of water 10 minutes prior to a meal will help you eat less too!)

6. Drink 10-12 ounces of room temperature or slightly warm water with a little fresh lemon juice when you wake up each morning. It’s a good start to the day, and you’re getting some of the water you need, not to mention it’s a good way to flush out your system. Your body is very busy during your sleeping hours “cleaning house.” Drinking a large glass of water first thing in the morning will help it do its job more efficiently!

7. When you should drink additional water: When you have a cold or flu, or if you are in dehydrating conditions such as extremely hot or humid weather, severely cold weather or high altitudes.

8. Most of these tips apply to children too! Our children are constantly bombarded with opportunities to drink sodas in school and with friends. Make sure they are getting enough water too!