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How much water to drink?

Opinions vary as to how much we should each drink per day. But a good rule to consider is 2L/day for women and 3L/day for men. Increase this amount if you live in a very hot climate or are exercising hard, are pregnant or nursing.

To check if you are adequately hydrated, your urine should be colourless or pale yellow and you should rarely feel thirsty. Urine output of around 1.5L per day is also normal.

Certain medical conditions change these rules however. People with kidney stones may need to drink more but those with heart disease may need to restrict their fluid intake.

1. For energy

Water helps carry oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Even being slightly dehydrated will make you feel cranky and tired.

2. For brainpower

Dehydration decreases our cognitive ability. That’s right. Not drinking enough decreases your brain’s ability to function properly. So drink up and feel the neurons firing up!

3. For digestive health

Water is essential for digestion. When we are dehydrated, the body draws as much water as possible from the gut. This will lead to increased constipation. Drinking adequate water will help keep you regular.

4. For kidney and liver health

Water helps the kidneys and liver flush out waste products. Accumulation of waste and electrolytes can lead to a myriad of problems.

5. To decrease joint pain

Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. This is actually how glucosamine helps reduce joint pain, by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.

6. For better athletic performance

Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Water composes 75% of our muscle tissue! Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.

7. Prevent headaches

Sometimes headaches can be caused by dehydration, so drinking water can prevent or alleviate that nasty head pain. Next time your head hurts, try drinking water. There are many causes of headaches and if you find that drinking water doesn’t help your headache, please consult your Chiropractor or medical practitioner for further examination and investigation.

8. For healthy skin

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the colour and texture of your skin by keeping it building new cells properly. Drinking water also helps the skin do its job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating.

9. For healthy mouth, nose and eyes

Water moistens the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes. Dehydration can lead to an increased risk of gum disease, nasal or eye infections.

10. For weight control

We often mistake the feeling of being thirsty for that of being hungry. When you are feeling that gnawing feeling of being hungry, try having a glass of water first. People also find that if they have a glass of water before a meal, it is easier to eat in moderation.

 

References:

Natalie A. Masento, Mark Golightly, David T. Field, Laurie T. Butler and Carien M. van Reekum (2014). Effects of hydration status on cognitive performance and mood . British Journal of Nutrition, 111, pp 1841-1852. doi:10.1017/S0007114513004455.

Sherwood, Human Physiology From Cells to Systems, 2nd Ed. 1989

 

Dr. Sandra Buchanan (Chiropractor)

Dr. Sandra Buchanan (Chiropractor)