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Healthy Tip: Drink Water!

By Alana Sugar, February 27, 2009  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
Glass of water There can be no life without water. I've heard this more than once from my scientist cousin. And of course, he's right. Our bodies are about 60% water, more or less, and every day that we live, breathe and move, we lose the water we have. So, reasonable deduction tells us we have to replenish that which we are losing! Our bodies use water to regulate our temperature, transport oxygen and nutrients to our cells, and assist in the process of digestion, metabolism and elimination. Without water, our bodies can't flush out waste and toxins. Not getting enough leads to dehydration; and this leads to a number of health problems, one of which can be death. Are you with me so far? Now here's where it can get challenging for some folks. Your body needs water. Not sodas, not coffee, not alcohol, not black tea. Even though those are fluids, they may be dehydrating and make your body need more water. If you consistently deprive your body of water, you may suffer from chronic dehydration. This isn't the same as collapsing in the desert heat while searching for an oasis, but it can definitely create some concerning health consequences including constipation, fatigue, digestive disorders, high and low blood pressure, respiratory problems, urinary infections and skin rashes. So, we need to drink water. How much? For many years, we've been told that we need to be drinking an average of 8 glasses of water a day. That can seem a bit daunting! More recently we are hearing our need for water changes with the amount we exercise, the food we eat, the weather, and other factors. Maybe one of the best ways to determine if you are getting enough water is to check the color of your urine. Urine is naturally pale yellow. That's the color you want it to be. If your urine is clear, then you can cut back on your water intake. If it is darker, then you need to drink more water. Keep in mind that riboflavin (vitamin B2), which is in most multivitamins, turns your urine fluorescent yellow so you'll need to avoid that for a day or so to get a true reading of color. It's really not that hard to add more water to your day. Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Keep a bottle or a glass of water on your desk while you work - having it handy makes it easier to drink.
  • Avoid alcohol and coffee in excess, as well as soda and sugary drinks.
  • Squeeze some fresh lime or lemon into your water for a flavor boost.
  • Drink pure spring or filtered water in between meals. Too much water with food can dilute gastric acids making digestion weaker.
  • Slowly sip a cup of hot herbal or green tea after a meal. This supports digestion and provides needed fluid.
  • Make spritzers using natural sparkling mineral water, plain, or flavored, mixed with a little fruit juice.
  • Eat whole juicy fruits and vegetables.
  • Drink warm or room temperature water first thing in the morning to wake your system up and get things moving. Then spread your water intake out during the day to keep you better hydrated.
  • If you have kidney problems or you take diuretics, talk to your health care professional about your individual water needs.
What are your tricks for drinking enough water? I'd love to hear!
Category: Healthy Eating




Jay says ...
I'm confused now. You state above "that urine is a naturaly pale yellow color and that is the color you want it to be". The next line reads "if your urine is clear, you can cut back on your water intake". That being said, do I want yellow urine or clear urine?. Please advise. THANX
02/27/2009 4:52:24 PM CST
Louise Ross says ...
I make a lot of stock during the winter, whether it's from chicken, turkey or vegetables. Often, I'll have a cup of plain stock with lunch or dinner. Though it's not "pure water" I think of it as warm, nutrient-enriched, highly flavorful, water-like liquid!
02/27/2009 5:18:27 PM CST
Justin says ...
Alana, What do you think about Ionized water? Do you feel Ionized Alkaline PH Balanced water is good for the body? It has many benefits and has been used for years in Asia. Water is great!
02/28/2009 2:15:29 AM CST
Laura Duffy says ...
Something I do with children and a busy house is buy whatever citrus or stone fruit you have on same and cut it up and place it in the bottom of a pitcher, fill it with water and place it in the refrigerator. That way especially in the summer everyone opens the fridge and the first thing they see is cold water with mango or pomegranates infused. We all drink cold water but the fruit infused water is nice instead of a sugar ladened option.
02/28/2009 8:28:01 PM CST
Great information. I like Fiji water best. But you should find on e that you like. I find I don't drink nearly enough water when I don't have fiji.
03/01/2009 11:10:40 PM CST
Brian says ...
Whaat give up Coffee, could not do it
03/03/2009 3:06:56 PM CST
sugara says ...
@Jay: Many people drink water all day long, and as a consequence, are frequently in the bathroom, and their urine has no color to it at all. If you have clear urine often, it can be a sign that you are drinking just a bit more than what your body needs. Urine is naturally very pale yellow in color, not clear, so you want it to be the pale yellow color that it naturally is. Thanks for asking!
03/04/2009 11:47:08 AM CST
sugara says ...
@Justin: I have read quite a bit about it and it seems that most people can really feel a difference. After all, our natural water flows over rocks and stones in rivers and streams, gathering minerals and keeping a balance. Thanks for writing!
03/04/2009 11:47:45 AM CST
Tony says ...
If you must drink bottled water, please consider buying from a local bottler. That bottle of Fiji might look impressive, but its journey to your grocers' shelves used a lot of resources.
03/04/2009 12:41:34 PM CST
megan says ...
I saw on a show that in order to get the proper amount of water you body needs on a daily basis that you should take your body weight and divide it by 2 and that is how many ounces you need. But before I learned this I decided I would drink upwards of 3 liters a day and it hasn'e been that hard at all!
03/04/2009 4:07:40 PM CST
Luda says ...
My physician, the health books I read, and the health and medical websites I use, etc. suggest to drink 6-8 GLASSES of water. It never crossed my mind to question what would be considered a GLASS. I also didn't know the amount of fluid a GLASS would hold. So, I took a glass from my kitchen cabinet and filled it with water. Then I poured the water into a fluid measuring cup. The result was: 8 oz. of water to drink which really isn't that much. I hope this info helps someone. It certainly made it easier for me to drink 8-8oz. GLASSES of water/fluids a day. (Of course, I didn't think to check my cookbooks.)
03/05/2009 3:50:44 PM CST
mitha says ...
ofcouse ido drink water everyday,almos a lot
03/07/2009 11:57:20 AM CST
Liz says ...
um what if i dont drink water for like 3 days striaght?? i do dat sometimes and i dont even notice
03/10/2009 1:06:32 AM CDT
Nikolov says ...
I think water is absolutely essential for humans' health. I have also found out trough years of trial and error that Artesan Water, especially one with a PH that is as high as possible (8.0) does the most good: it hydrates you all the way to the cellular level. Please do NOT drink anything such as Dasani or Aquafina or any other tap water for that matter! Not good for you(this from a friend that works for the city water system). I have switched to higher PH waters, but they tend to be quite expensive as they have to be shipped from abroad. Whole Foods does offer some great choices but again, on the expensive side.
04/22/2009 6:58:41 PM CDT
Lulu Lapland says ...
You should drink water (as much as possible without vomiting) 1 hour before a meal and 2 hours after it. This way water doesn't interfere with the digestive process. You'll immediately start noticing the difference once you try this strategy. Not only will you look and feel better but you'll drop the poundage and you constipation will vanish.
04/30/2009 12:38:19 AM CDT
derf says ...
best tasting water in the World is Fiji Save waste by putting your own tap water or bulk bottled water into a stainless klean kanteen
06/02/2009 3:14:41 PM CDT
SJ says ...
When you're thirsty instead of opening the fridge and grabbing a bottle of coca cola grab that gallon of water and fill your glass, it keeps you more refreshed and quenches your thirst better than any other beverage.
07/15/2009 1:01:14 PM CDT
Annie says ...
Do you sell Alkaline Water or do you know where I can buy it? Annie
10/02/2009 5:32:46 AM CDT
Olivia says ...
Just make sure your water does not contain any Flouride, it is a poision that is destructive to your thyroid gland, brain, and entire body. It is more toxic than lead and only slightly less toxic than arsenic!!! And if you boil water with flouride in it, it will only concentrate more! So be careful! Make sure your water has been through reverse-osmosis to take the flouride away. Be smart and do your own research, don't just take my word for it! And to the comment below, your urine should be as clear as possible. Yellow or darker urine means you have a poor diet and are harming your system (usually too much sugar and artificial flavors/preservatives). Clear urine means you're doing good!
03/22/2010 1:54:53 AM CDT
Angela Smith says ...
Do you carry BPA free water?
06/09/2010 9:19:30 PM CDT
vaughnm says ...
@Angela, Almost all water bottles are made out of #1 or #2 type plastic, which is BPA-free. If you are concerned however, just check to make sure the container is #1, #2, #4, #5 or #6 plastics, which are the BPA-free types. Thanks!
06/09/2010 9:30:20 PM CDT
Tom says ...
If you drink lots of water, can that help to control things like adrenalin surges?
07/20/2010 12:44:36 PM CDT
Jan Howard says ...
After moving to the city, had a REAL problem drinking enough water. THEN I was introduced to ionized alkaline water and absolutly love it. It tastes GREAT and found myself actually craving it. And the health benefits are definitely a wonderful added bonus. I drink a quart first thing in the morning and my coffee made with it is soooo smooth. The fact that it is a great tasting way to fight the over acidity of our American diet AND helps keep the "bottles" out of our environment makes it a total winner in my book. Ionized alkaline water bars are showing up everywhere, making it possible for people to buy "GOOD" water without the "bottles" and generating a great income for the business providing it. Everyone wins. Drink up everyone!
08/09/2010 7:51:39 PM CDT
RP says ...
Please double check the accuracy of this statement in your material. "Drink pure spring or filtered water in between meals. Too much water with food can dilute gastric acids making digestion weaker." I believe this to be a misconception. It is based on the notion that the stomach produces only a fixed amount of acid (HCl) to aid digestion. So if we drink water with a meal, that fixed amount of acid will be diluted. I believe the correct concept is that the stomach produces whatever level of acid is required to digest the food in it. So if we drink water with a meal, the stomach will automatically increase the amount of acid produced to provide the right concentration for digestion. Avoiding drinking water with a meal can have adverse consequences. Some individuals will become constipated because of insufficient fluid in the stool. Bottom line, drinking water with a meal is likely fine. I would think that letting your level of thirst be your guide as to how much water to drink with a meal is the best advice.
10/27/2010 11:08:39 AM CDT
Bev says ...
Do you have "hint", if so how much is it?
11/09/2010 5:12:32 PM CST