Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How Much Water Should I Drink?

How Much Water Do I Need to Drink?
Dehydration makes almost all symptoms and disease worse!
But how much should we drink? 10 oz.? 100 oz? 
Do we all require the same amount of water?
Just water? Does juice or coffee count?
Many of us have heard the traditional "drink 8 ten-ounce glasses of water a day for good health." This may be beneficial for some but it does not take into consideration age, gender, body size or activity level. We always provide indivdualized care for our patients but here are some general guidelines to get you started:
Calculation: Take your weight (in pounds) and divide the number in half. This number is your initial target for daily water intake in ounces.
Example: A 200 lb. man should set a goal of 100 oz. of water to drink daily. (200x.5=100)

One of our body's self-defense mechanisms is to put on extra pounds in response to dehydration. This formula takes into account the needs of an overweight individual and allows the person to shed a few pounds as they regain their health.

Athletes sweat more and require more water so the calculation is altered to their weight (lbs.) times 1.5 to obtain proper hydration and optimal athletic performance.
Example: A 200 lb. athlete sets their initial water goal as 150 oz. per day. (200x1.5=150)

Can I drink something other than water to reach my water/fluid intake goal?
Yes, if well tolerated, juice and herbal teas may be used to replace some of the water intake goal.

What about coffee and soft drinks?
Coffee has a lot of caffeine in it (about 100 mg. per cup.) Caffeine is a diuretic which means it makes the body lose water/fluid. It would make good sense to add an equal amount of water to the daily water intake target goal for every cup of coffee drank. 
Soft drinks often have a lot of caffeine as well as phosphoric acid and sweetners which can upset the body's chemical balances. It would again make good sense to add an equal amount of water to the daily water intake target goal to match the amount of soft drink consumed.

What about decaffeinated coffee?
Decaffeinated coffee, while acidic in nature, would seem to neither fullfill nor increase the need for water intake.

What about Green Tea?
Green tea, along with black, red and white teas, contains a moderate amount of caffeine (about 25 mg. a cup) and it would probably be wise to neither increase nor decrease water intake goals based on their consumption.

Does it matter when I drink to obtain the best hydration?
Drinking water or other nourishing fluids appears to best hydrate the body when taken separately from our meals. Drinking water when you have not eaten in 20 minutes and will not eat again within the next 20 minutes appears to get the best results in terms of hydration and avoids any negative impact on digestion that drinking excessive amounts of water with a meal might create.

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1 comment:

  1. Most soft drinks are full of caffeine and one must avoid them all if they want to lead a healthy life style. Prefer fruit juices such as Goji Berry Juice, and Noni Juice to enhance your health and develop stronger immune system.