BodyMend Wellness ClinicHeath and Wellness

Drinking: The Most Important Thing You’ll Do Today

The human body can go for weeks without food. Without water, however, most people will be dead in less than a week. You need water. You have probably heard that staying healthy and well-hydrated requires drinking a minimum of 8 glasses of water per day, but this number is largely inaccurate for many people, and where that water comes from may be even more important.

Water_Infusion_Grapefruit_Rosemary_small
If you have trouble drinking enough plain water but don’t want to spike insulin with sugar, try a water influsion like this rosemary grapefruit water. Lots of flavor, no sugar.

According to The Institute of Medicine in the United States, the adequate intake (AI) of water is approximately 9 cups for women and 13 cups for men, though they allow some of this water to be in the form of other beverages; coffee, tea, juice, or even soup. Just make sure that whatever you’re drinking isn’t too high in sugar, or other health issues may occur. In any event, pure, clean water is always the best choice for hydration and overall health, but don’t sweat it if the prospect of drinking 13 cups of plain water seems daunting. The most important thing is to listen to your body.

According to physician and holistic healthcare expert Dr. Joseph Mercola, an individual’s own body will let them know when and how much water they need. Factors like body composition, humidity, ambient temperature and activity level have a major impact on how much water we require.

The color of your urine can also be a great indicator of how hydrated you are, and whether not you need to increase your water intake:

As long as you are not taking riboflavin (vitamin B2; also found in most multi-vitamins), which fluoresces and turns your urine bright yellow, then your urine should be a very light-colored yellow. If it is a deep, dark yellow then you are likely not drinking enough water. If your urine is scant or if you haven’t urinated in several hours, that too is an indication that you’re not drinking enough. Based on the results from a few different studies, a healthy person urinates on average about seven or eight times a day. (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/01/is-drinking-six-to-eight-cups-of-water-really-nonsense.aspx

While some of your recommended daily 9-13 cups of fluid can be coffee, tea, or juice, it’s best to exercise moderation when consuming these beverages. Coffee and tea contain caffeine which is a diuretic and can actually serve to dehydrate rather than hydrate. Be particularly careful to avoid sugary drinks like pop and ‘energy drinks’ which often contain insulin-spiking, fat-retaining high-fructose corn syrup. Remember that pure clean water is always the best.

So get yourself a good quality glass bottle or cup and start sipping water throughout the day. Your body will thank you.

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