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Water, Water Everywhere But How Much Should We Drink?

Aug 18, 2007
Before I suffered mercury toxicity and had to de-tox I was not a lover of water. I preferred mine mixed with tea or coffee. However, now I really appreciate its value.

For thousands of people in UK the last few weeks have been a nightmare. Whilst the British are often ridiculed for our conversations about the weather we could be forgiven for discussing the unusually high levels of rainfall experienced this July.

The deluge of rainwater caused many rivers to burst their banks, flooding properties and utility services like the electricity, water and sewage works. Consequently, thousands of people found themselves surrounded by water but none of it was fit to drink.

Even boiling it was considered a health risk and daily people queued up to fill their containers with clean water delivered in bowsers.

This was a most unusual sight in UK and it made me realise how much we take our water supply for granted.

I also wondered how many people's health suffered because they became dehydrated. Very few of us actually drink enough water anyway, even when it is available through our taps.

I know a lot of people are concerned about the chemicals, but the fact remains if we didn't drink water we would be poisoned by our body's own waste.

Everyone knows it's important. Doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, sportspeople, beauticians, actresses, models all go on about it, but do we listen? No, - at least not most of us.

However, water is like air - without it you would die.

Although you could survive without food for several weeks, you'd only last a few days without water.

It is vital for dissolving the uric acid and urea removed in the kidneys, aiding the chemical reactions required for digestion and metabolism, carrying nutrients and oxygen through the blood, lubricating our joints and allowing us to perspire and cool our bodies down.

Most people don't realise the human body is composed of 75% water, with brain tissue said to consist of 85%. And, did you know it's possible to lose a pint of water each day just breathing? I didn't think so.

If you don't drink enough water you can become dehydrated and experience a variety of symptoms.

Apart from getting a build up of toxicity in your body, headaches, joint and muscle soreness, lower back pain, poor muscle tone, dry skin, decreased digestive efficiency with heartburn and stomach ache, you can also get water retention and excess body fat because the body can't metabolise it properly.

I know that sounds bizarre but often if you're not drinking enough your body will retain what fluid you do have to compensate. Sometimes just drinking more will do more good than taking pills.

I know many people are put off drinking more because of the need to continually go to the toilet, especially at night. However, your bladder will eventually adjust and it's worth it to stop your body being dehydrated.

Also, drinking water often stops you feeling hungry so it's a good idea to spread out your fluid intake throughout the day.

So, how much should you drink? - Lots!

Six to ten glasses is a safe bet but if you want to be more specific it's recommended you drink 50 - 75% of your body weight in ounces depending on whether you are sedentary or active.

You might also want to add a bit more if it's really hot or you are working extra hard, so for example, a person who weighs 140 lbs, lives in a dry climate and is doing strenuous exercises should drink 75% x 140 oz = 105 oz + 16 oz (activity) + 16 oz (climate) = Total 137 oz per day.

Since you should spread out your fluid intake just divide the daily total by the amount of hours you are awake.

In the example above I'll assume the person sleeps 8 hours each night (lucky thing, so is awake for the remaining 16. The hourly water consumption should therefore be 137 oz divided by 16 (hours) = approximately 8 oz.

So now you know, get drinking!
About the Author
Jean Shaw is the author of I'm Not Naughty - I'm Autistic - Jodi's Journey and Autism, Amalgam and Me - Jodi's Journey Continues.

Read more of her articles or visit her What A Slimming World blog
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