Hydration Habits

What is the big deal about drinking “enough” water?

Water is present in every cell, between all of your cells, in your blood, and in almost every process in your body. It helps hydrate our skin, lubricate our joints, remove toxins and biproducts of metabolic activity in your cells, keeps our digestion moving, just to name a few things.

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Then what is “enough” water?

Water intake is best calculated on body weight. On average we need about the equivalent of our body weight in kg in oz per day. For example, a 62kg person needs about 8 glasses (assuming 8oz glass) per day. What’s the math on that? To make it simple, take weight in pounds (lbs) and divide by 2.2, that will give you approximately your weight in kilograms (kg). Then divide that weight by 8, as in a standard 8oz glass of water… or if you know your glasses are much smaller or larger, divide by the number of oz per glass that you are usually drinking.

What happens if we don’t get enough water?

When we don’t drink enough water, we get dehydrated. There are so many symptoms of dehydration that look like they could be a worse disease process, so always make sure you’re hydrating well enough. Just to name a few of the possible symptoms: dry skin, poor skin recoil, wrinkles, dark under eye area (wouldn’t drinking water be a lot cheaper than expensive creams or makeups?), constipation, foggy thinking, urinary frequency, muscle cramps and twitches, restless legs, and dizziness.

No, your coffee intake does NOT count towards your water intake.

What does count as towards your daily hydration target? Plain water, lemon water, herbal tea, and coconut water, which each may have different additional benefits for your body as well. Coffee, pop, and juice do not count towards your water intake.

Does drinking more water give you fear about having to pee too often?

Our trigger to urinate is actually driven by our hydration level. If you are dehydrated, you will get more frequent signals to urinate, especially at night. Yes, your body will have to adjust to drinking more water, so increase your amount slowly, but then you should find there is a decrease in your urge to urinate.

I’d love to think this is such a basic topic, but honestly, I have to have a discussion about water intake with at least 30-50% of my patients every single day, so this may just be a good reminder for you, or a revelation, depending where you are starting. If you’re only having 2 cups of water per day and you need 8, you’re probably going to take 6-8 weeks to get up to that intake with slow increases, and make it a habit to continue.

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