Is 6-8 Glasses of water a day enough? 07/26/2010
We bathe in it, swim in it, get some of our food from it and, most importantly, we drink it. Our beautiful planet is comprised of 70% of water. We literately cannot live without it and, in fact, we cannot live more than one week without it.
Model Marteen Cleary
Water, our most primal and restorative commodity is a healing, comforting and spiritual energy drink. We love water! We are drawn to oceans for clarity; we bathe in hot springs to alleviate illness and to restore health. We play in it, and travel great distances to spend our leisure time around it. We build homes around water and pay significantly more to be able to gaze out a window and be soothed by its beauty.
Despite our knowledge of the benefits of water and its abundance, many of us are dehydrated and don’t know it! According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries For Water, the body is 25% solid matter, the rest is water. 85% of brain tissue and muscle is water, the liver is 82% water and the bones are 22% water. A mere 5% drop in water levels in the body causes 25 – 30% loss of energy. Mild dehydration can cause metabolism to slow down by 3%. A 2% drop in fluid levels can cause fuzzy, short-term memory. A 15% drop is enough to cause death!
Water is the avenue on which nutrients and wastes travel. It is required in abundance for the kidneys to regulate and for the bowel to eliminate. Insufficient amounts of water leads to health problems. The body is designed to use water to help pump volumes of blood throughout our arteries, helps chemical messengers communicate and to keep hormones working properly.
Water is essential to every function in the body. Water helps fluids carry electrical charges for cell communication. Fluid helps transport nutrients from the foods we eat to where it is needed in the body whether to an organ or to allow for our hormones to function properly. Water also takes the metabolic wastes, toxins and free radicals out of the body through the process of elimination by binding to molecules within the fluid. Water regulates temperature, keeps platelets from sticking, insulates and cushions our organs and glands from physical blows such as from sports and lubricates our joints and bones. Essentially, water has the ability to allow our body to repair, restore and heal.
If proper hydration can actually aid in wellness, why is it that we insist on a state of dehydration? Could there possibly be an emotional connection to water? Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, has spent his life connecting the emotional energy of water and our physical well-being. Photographing and analyzing crystals of frozen water helped him prove that negative energy affects our chemical make-up and a simple prayer of healing can physically manipulate one’s metabolic structure to one of health and vitality.
If water can alleviate many physical ailments and can actually increase vitality, why do we stay in a dehydrated state? Emotionally there is a subconscious internal conflict of feeling “high and dry.” Perhaps the aversion to water (or liquids in general) may be attributed to the feelings of lifelong imminent calamity stemming from a childhood perception of a dysfunctional family unit. Could it be that an unpredictable unstable family unit has left one feeling like they don’t have what it takes to handle the situation like a fish out of water?
Physically in a dehydrated state, the body will close off some capillaries to allow for other organs to continue functioning optimally, thus reserving fluid. With a reduction in fluid, arteries will become smaller to avoid air pockets, movement of blood and blood pressure must go higher to push through the area. Limited fluid means blood also becomes thicker resulting in blood pressure having to rise even higher to move the thickened state along. While this is taking place, your body sends out signals of thirst. Sometimes, we interpret thirst as wanting cola, coffee or tea. Caffeine drinks are diuretics which mean they increase urine flow which further dehydrates the body. Feeling ignored, your body sends out stronger messages interpreted as fuzzy concentration, lethargy, headache and a general feeling of un-wellness which we interpret as needing some kind of over the counter medication to alleviate symptoms.
Tuning in to your body’s requests would help one realize, “I need water”. Emotionally and physically water is the flow of life and vitality!
How much water should you drink? Most experts say 6-8 glasses of water daily for the average person. The “average” person is based on a 150 lb male. We are not all 150 pounds, or male. Remember, we need fluid volume to pump our blood through our arteries. If you are significantly more that 150 lbs, will 6-8 glasses of water do?
Ideally, the amount is based on your body weight. So take your body weight (in pounds) divide by 2 and this represents the number of ounces you require for daily maintenance. So let’s use a 150lb person:
Example: 150 pounds ÷ 2 = 75 ounces,
75 ÷ 8 = 9.4 8oz glasses per day
Clearly 6-8 glasses of water are not enough for a 150 lb person and if you weigh more than this you may not be taking in adequate amounts of water. Now, with that said, keep in mind it is based on your weight, so the less you weigh the less fluid volume is needed to pump blood through, the less water you require.
As I mentioned, the water calculation is based on maintenance. During summer months, especially in parts of Arizona or other desert regions where temperatures can soar, you will require even more water (experts say at the bare minimum 38 oz for everyone). During times of exercise you need to add 8 oz pre- and post-exercise as well as an additional 8 oz for every hour of exercise. Additionally, for every 8 oz caffeinated and alcoholic beverage you consume you need to add an additional 8 oz glass of water. Pregnancy and nursing requires more water as well.
Now I know some you are saying “water is boring, there is no taste!” Spike your water with slices of lemon, lime or orange. Water and lemon actually helps to maintain your Ph balance, cleanses your blood and kick starts digestion and detoxifies your liver. All that from lemon and water! Try adding crushed fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary, lemon grass or frozen fruit pieces like blueberries, strawberry, kiwi or watermelon; be creative!
Water is crucial to every physical and emotional function and activity on a daily basis. So, drink up, keep it real and get hydrated!
Karen Langston is an Extreme Nutritionist and Chief body Reorganizer who helps clients get to the nutritional root of their health and fitness issues. You can find her swigging back H2O in Phoenix, Arizona 623 252-HEAL (4325) Karen@IamWorthit2.com or www.IamWorthit2.com
This article has appeared in the Examiner.com AzNetNews.com and Carolyn Akens.com Weekly newsletter