Ok, so you’ve probably heard that our bodies are 70% water. More specifically, our brains are 90% water! An excellent book on this topic is “Your Bodies Many Cries for Water”, by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. The main quote I always remember from his work is “you are not sick–your are thirsty!” Many times a headache or stomach-ache is the body being mildly, or majorly dehydrated.
Weight loss is also aided by drinking enough water. Here’s how this works. A very common way to intake excess (and usually empty) calories is by drinking beverages other than water, such as soda, diet soda, milk, coffees, iced coffees, alcohol and juices. When you replace drinking these with water, your body not only benefits from the re-hydration that water provides (unlike diet soda and coffee which dehydrates you further), but you have more calories to “spend” on good food, which is more packed with nutrients than any typical beverage.
In addition, water is a natural detoxifier because it softens the matter in your colon and makes your bowel movements more complete–ie pulling out the toxins that reside in your colon. When you have significant toxins in your colon from eating refined foods or taking antibiotics, your body holds on to more water, because it wants to make sure that there is plenty of water to dilute those toxins. This is where that bloated feeling often comes from.
When you provide your body with enough water to flush out these toxins, it won’t hold onto water, and more toxins, and the broken down fat cells from weight loss can be more readily pushed out of your system.
Hydrated Skin is Younger Skin
As for those fine lines that many women complain of, one of the first places that dehydration shows up is in the largest organ of the body, the skin. In order for the skin to stay plumped up, and minimize the appearance of fine-lines, the skin must be hydrated.
Remove the Cause, not the Symptoms
American women spend millions of dollars a year on skin care products that claim to minimize lines and imperfections, clear acne, reverse aging, you name it. But NOTHING is as effective as pure, clean water that works on your skin from the inside out. I am all for facials and good skin care, but what really matters is how your body is filling out those lines from the inside.
What Kind of Water?
Pure spring water, or naturally occurring Artesian Well water is the best. Ideally spring water attained from an actual spring. In urban settings, this is not as practical. I recommend purchasing spring or natural artesian well water, and having it delivered, over use of reverse osmosis systems, or getting your water from the water store.. Reverse osmosis takes municipal tap water and purifies it from pathogens and other large molecules like bacteria. But smaller molecules such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals and chlorine are not filtered out. Some “water stores” also filter through a carbon filter to take the chlorine out. Ask at where you get your water.
I highly recommend Mountain Valley Spring Water delivery or Fiji water delivery. There are also systems you can have installed in your home that both perform reverse osmosis and carbon filtration, but they can be pricey.
I am still doing my research on alkaline water systems such as Kangen. I am not sure that drinking water at 9.0pH is a good idea long term. If you do get Kangen water, I would recommend consuming it closer to 8.0 pH..
How Much Water?
Between 2 and 3 liters per day (68-100 ounces) depending on how much you weigh. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in fluid ounces. So if you weight 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces per day (140/2=70).
If you exercise intensely (spin classes, Cross-fit, cardio kick box), add on 16 ounces for every hour of exercise. If you drink soda (even diet soda) or coffee, for every 8 ounces of those that you drink, add on 4 ounces of water, as both of those pull water from your tissues. As does nicotine.
Alcohol is also very dehydrating. For every alcohol serving you drink (4oz of wine, 8 oz of beer, or 2 oz of spirits) you need an additional 8 ounces of water.
Isn’t it just easier math to not drink coffee and soda, alcohol or smoke? But I too live in the real world. Although I see no good social reason to smoke or drink soda, I do drink a glass or two of wine on the weekends and have an occasional Sunday latte. So just keep in mind that when you do, increase your hydration even more.
One quick way to tell if you are drinking enough is to check the color of your urine. Your first morning urine will be darker from the natural detox that is occurring, that’s ok. But starting after breakfast, your pee should be a pale yellow color and should not smell. If it is any color besides pale yellow or smells, you need to drink more.
To figure out how many ounces of water a day you roughly need, here’s an example using the information I gave above.
Example: a 135 pound woman who exercises 1 hour per day and has two cups of black tea in the morning needs:
135 lbs/ 2= 68 68 ounces is the base amount
exercise for one hour = + 16 ounces
Counteract 2 c black tea + 8 oz
TOTAL WATER NEEDS= 92 ounces.
YOUR TOTAL WATER NEEDS ___________