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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

Drinking More Water

Why Your Body Needs More Water Than You Think

We’ve often heard the rule of thumb that we should drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. While hydration is indeed essential, it’s time to recognize that our bodies need more than this standard recommendation. The guidance we have long lived by is not only misguided but contains misinterpretations that are causing a lot of us to miss out on the water we need every single day.

History of the 64 ounces

This standard 64 ounces per day was defined in 1945 by the Food and Nutrition Board that is today part of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine. The original recommendation included water drank as well as water containing sources from food. The 64 ounces came out to 1900 milliliters of water to align with the standard diet of 1900 calories.

The recommendation quickly ignored the idea that water could also come from food sources and has been often misinterpreted as 8 cups of water ever since.

In 2004, the Board revisited this question of water quantity and agreed that water could also be considered from other liquid sources such as coffee, sports drinks, juices and milk. They also concluded that the majority of people could let thirst drive how much they drank every day. They found in 2004, women consumed 91 ounces daily and men 125 ounces inclusive of all liquids, including water.

Where the Board got it wrong

First of all, consuming water through other sources like sodas and sports drinks, even coffee, decreases the benefits of drinking water. Many of these beverages are dehydrating and the water contained with them do little to help restore and balance necessary hydration. There is a lot of debate on this issue and you’ll find opinions on both sides telling you it is ok to count these other beverages as water and the others do no. Holistic practitioners tend to lean towards not endorsing these other beverages as water ounces because the ingredients in many of them are not natural and create toxicity in the body. Water is then left doing a dual job of hydrating and trying to flush out toxins.

Secondly, yes it is possible to obtain water ounces through food but given the quality of the food structure today it is questionable. Again, many natural foods are filled with preservatives, sprayed with chemicals and contain harmful ingredients that distort the water that is available. Any water realized from eating foods is mitigated through the need of trying to eliminate toxins from our foods.

Additionally, most people are not eating enough vegetables and fruits in their diet so counting this as a water source isn’t happening either. With the increasing concern of things being sprayed on fruits and vegetables it also is questionable if that distorts the water in these foods. Personally, I wouldn’t count on them as part of my water intake as it further complicates how you calculate how much is in each type of food and tracking that seems stressful.

The only real way to get adequate water in your body is to drink water. Filtered, spring, reverse osmosis and distilled are the recommended types that offer the best means to reach adequate hydration levels. For obvious reasons, tap water is not considered a safe water source. The chemicals used to treat tap water cause toxicity in the body and prevents good absorption to the cells.

How much water you actually should drink every day

The recommended amount is far greater than 64 ounces a day. This is the start point only. Holistically, you need 50% of your body weight in ounces of water daily.

That seems like a lot of water doesn’t it but consider this: Your body is 70% liquid and your brain alone is 45% liquid. That means you’re mostly liquid therefore logic says you need a lot of water to replenish the water you lose through sweat, pee and organ functions.

I also advise my clients that for every non-water drink they consume, add that many ounces to your water intake. So 1 cup of coffee is 8 more ounces of water to the 50% total.

Will you drink this every day? Likely not, but being mostly consistent with it will establish hydration levels in your body that are ideal and giving your body the best support you can to function well.

Seasonally, we will drink more in the spring and summer than in fall and winter. There are tricks to increasing our water in cooler seasons and I recommend these to my clients as hydration in cooler months also matters. Again, you may not get the complete total amount of water every day but if you are close I promise you’re going to feel better overall.

  • Aim to drink 3-5 ounces per half hour during the day to help meet this goal.

  • Limit ice especially in cooler seasons as it will help you drink more.

  • Add citrus slices, cucumbers, pears and other fruits to enhance flavor and nutrients

  • Add citrus essential oils – only use high quality like doTERRA, for flavor

A word about pee

Drinking all the water will increase the amount of elimination needs … at first. Amazingly, your body will adjust and within a couple weeks you’ll be going on your normal schedule of every couple hours just like now. The difference is you won’t be pulling liquid your body needs from joints, muscles and organs and instead you will have enough water to help your kidneys filter waste and get it eliminated regularly.

One of the easiest ways to gauge dehydration is through pee color and odor.

The first elimination in the morning is not used for this because it is highly concentrated. Your body detoxes over night and this elimination will contain all the things your body swept up. It is expected to be darker and may have an odor to it.

Normal hydration representation is light straw color with no to minimal odor for all eliminations except the first one of the day.

Darker, thicker, smelly pee is a sign of dehydration.

Why you need more water

There are multiple reasons why we need to exceed the 64-ounce mark and the benefits of consuming an adequate amount of water for optimal health and well-being.

  1. Individual Variations: Each person’s hydration needs are unique and influenced by factors such as body size, activity level, climate, and overall health. Relying solely on a fixed 64-ounce guideline may not account for these individual variations. It’s crucial to listen to your body and adjust your water intake accordingly.

  2. Hydration and Metabolism: Proper hydration plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy metabolism. Water helps with digestion, nutrient absorption, and the elimination of waste products. Consuming an adequate amount of water supports metabolic processes, aids in weight management, and promotes overall energy levels. NOTE: Water will not change your appetite or help weight loss. This is misguided dieting industry information. What water does when you are properly hydrated is help your cells ATP energy levels and balances hormones. One of the hormones associated with hunger is ghrelin, which tells you when you are hungry. Balanced hormones means you can decode the messages from ghrelin and understand if you are really hungry or if it is another need. Emotionally we eat to soothe and comfort despite being not hungry. This improved hydration helps us reset these hormones and better navigate stress, emotions and triggers for eating. That change can help you lose weight and its why dieting often says to drink more water but their claim you’ll lose weight doing that is misguided.

  3. Physical Activity: If you lead an active lifestyle or engage in regular exercise, your hydration needs will increase. Sweating during physical activity leads to water loss, which must be replenished to maintain proper hydration. Aim to drink water before, during, and after exercise to support your body’s performance and recovery.

  4. Climate and Environmental Factors: Hot and humid climates, as well as high altitudes, can contribute to increased water loss through perspiration and evaporation. In such conditions, it’s essential to increase your water intake to compensate for the additional fluid loss and keep your body hydrated.

  5. Detoxification and Kidney Function: Water is crucial for proper kidney function and the elimination of toxins from the body. Drinking an adequate amount of water helps support kidney health and promotes effective detoxification processes. It also contributes to maintaining healthy skin and overall cellular function.

  6. Brain Function and Mental Clarity: Proper hydration is essential for optimal brain function. Even mild dehydration can impair cognitive performance, concentration, and mood. By consuming enough water throughout the day, you support mental clarity, focus, and overall cognitive well-being.

  7. Hydration and Overall Well-being: Adequate hydration is fundamental to maintaining overall health and well-being. It supports healthy digestion, regulates body temperature, lubricates joints, promotes healthy skin, and aids in the transport of nutrients throughout the body. Drinking more than 64 ounces of water per day ensures you’re providing your body with the hydration it needs to function optimally.

Check out my recommendations for water bottles that help you stay hydrated.

While the guideline of drinking 64 ounces of water per day is a good starting point, it’s crucial to recognize that our hydration needs may vary. Factors such as individual variations, physical activity, climate, and overall health influence our water requirements. By listening to our bodies and consuming an adequate amount of water, we support metabolic processes, enhance brain function, promote detoxification, and maintain overall well-being. Let’s prioritize proper hydration and strive to meet our unique water needs for optimal health and vitality.

For help improving your water intake and breaking up with other unhealthy habits book your consultation appointment today

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