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How Much Water Is Enough?

We’ve all heard it before. For better health, drink more water! Yet, some of us still struggle with this habit. Some cite that it is too plain. There’s no taste to it! While others simply do not make it a priority.

But think of it this way.

If water was not vitally important to our health, the body would not be made up of such a large percentage of it!

The Drink of Life

Water makes up an estimated 60-70% of our body.

 

Our blood, muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Water helps regulate body temperature, transportation of nutrients and oxygen to the cells, removal of waste, and it is also needed in the protection of our joints and organs.

Bottom line: without it, our body would not survive! Therefore, let’s move past the excuses and make drinking water a daily habit.

How much is enough?

A good estimate is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces per day that you need to drink.

For example, if you are 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces (150/2) daily, which is a little more than 9 glasses (a glass is 8 ounces). If you exercise, you should drink another 8-ounce glass for every 20 minutes you are active.

What are the benefits?

  • Increased energy and metabolism
  • Improved digestion (especially constipation)
  • Relieves headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Improves circulation and heart health
  • Clearer skin

Tips and Tricks

  • Do not drink your required daily intake all at once. Build it up slowly by increasing a glass each week.
  • Drink a glass in the morning before you eat or drink anything else.
  • Be sure to have water handy at all times by keeping a bottle with you.
  • If you get bored with plain water, add a bit of lemon or lime for a touch of flavour.
  • Set a reminder at the top of each hour so you don’t forget to drink.
  • If you would normally get a soda or alcoholic beverage, try substituting it with water instead.
  • If you exercise, remember to drink extra water.
  • Avoid drinking before bed to prevent having to run to the washroom in the middle of the night.

When to avoid drinking too much

  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Adrenal problems

Risks vs. Benefits

So that this does not hit you by surprise, by increasing your water intake, you will undoubtedly increase your need to urinate. However, this is a small price to pay when you consider the benefits.

On the flip side, this may also be considered an added benefit. Think of your trips to the bathroom as small breaks in your day, especially if your work entails sitting for most of the day. There are a whole host of problems related to too much sitting, which you can read about here.

While we’re on the topic, as an indication that you’re drinking enough water, your urine should be almost crystal clear, and not a dark yellow.

Yes, it’s possible to have clear urine!

Therefore, your next goal should be this: pee clear urine.

Author Info

Dr. Marilyn Tran, ND

Dr. Marilyn Tran is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing in midtown Toronto. Dr. Tran holds an honours Bachelor of Science in Human Biology and Psychology and a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Her passion for community work led her to complete rotations at the Sherbourne Health Centre (treating patients with AIDS/HIV), Queen West Community Health Centre and Brampton Civic Hospital. She also completed two medical brigades to Haiti with Naturopaths Without Borders providing care to the local community. In 2016, she began work to set up a Global Health Program in El Salvador, Central America, along with her partner who is an Ayurvedic Doctor. Together, they hope to introduce students rooted in natural health to help communities in impoverished countries. When at home in her city of Toronto, she relishes in all the small and finer things her vibrant, multi-cultural city has to offer. She maintains a health and happiness blog on her website www.drmarilyntran.com.

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