Drink the Right Amount of Water for Good Health
The bottled water industry is bulging with new options with the message to Drink Better Water!
As water options grow, what are you doing about the human need to hydrate often and well?
Some holistic health coaches recommend we drink one-half our body weight in ounces each day. For instance, a 150-pound woman is advised to drink 75 ounces of water. Other experts advise that we use the 8×8 Rule: 8 times a day we drink 8 ounces of water. Which of these recommendations does your hydration habit resemble?
If you are like the average American adult, you are drinking only 39 ounces each day!
Let’s start with a few facts. Our bodies are made up of between 60-75% water. Maintaining a hydrated body is a key behavior too often left to chance. Some days we remember our 8×8 Rule. Other days we drink coffee and wine but no clean, plain water.
We all need to find our “Just Right” zone. Drinking too much could result in mineral imbalances, while too little causes dehydration, headaches or fatigue.
Here’s an update for your summertime holistic health.
Daily fluid intake includes water in foods, plain drinking water, and other beverages. The ‘right’ amount for each person depends upon multiple variables.
Water intake is determined in day-to-day lifestyle situations:
- Age, sex and body size
- Pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Hot/humid days
- High altitude locations (above 8,200 feet above sea level)
- High exercise level
- Illness of fever, diarrhea, vomiting
- Infections of the bladder or urinary tract
- After bodywork like massage
- After drinking alcohol
- Diabetes or high blood sugar
The water people drink on a regular basis depends upon a variety of factors*:
- The CDC reports that in the time period between 2005-2010, US youth drank on average 15 ounces daily and adults drank 39 ounces.
- In the US, plain water consumption is lower for younger children than it should be, especially in non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American youth.
- Adults also drink lower amounts of when they are elderly, lower-income, or have lower education.
- Children in the US who drink too little water tend to drink less milk, eat less fruit and vegetables, drink more sugar-sweetened beverages, eat more fast food, and get less physical activity.
- Personal preference…and this leads to the success of bottled water marketing efforts.
Stay hydrated, especially if you have diabetes or high blood sugar
People with diabetes are prone to dehydration. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, or when people eat too much sugar, the blood becomes high in sugar. The kidneys work overtime to filter and absorb this excess sugar. This excess sugar is eliminated through excess urine, which drags fluids from body tissues. Diabetics are at higher risk for overheating in hot weather. Excessive heat can cause blood sugar levels to peak and valley, so remember to have clean, low-sugar water and snacks with you at all times.
What is the best type of water to consume?
The option that is best for any individual often comes down to cost and availability. Seek out your most consistent source:
- Tap. Some cities have very good purification systems, while others leave traces of chlorination by-products, lead, and some bacteria.
- Filters. Some brands can help to remove contaminants. Environmental toxins vary by location, so do some research about your community’s supply.
- Distillation. Boiling has been found to remove some impurities or toxins. Distilled water can be purchased by the gallon.
- Bottled. When a person’s community has an unsafe tap supply, bottled is often a better option. The least expensive types of bottled water may not be the healthiest choice. There is growing concern about chemicals from plastic seeping into the water, as well as the effects that the increasing number of bottles is having on the environment. Purchasing a reusable bottle along with a filtered system for your kitchen sink is a possible solution.
- Soda replacements. Two of the most popular bottled/canned options today are HINT and LaCroix. Both are zero calorie beverages that do not use artificial colors, sweeteners, or flavors. Hint water is flavored with “natural” fruit flavoring. They report that two techniques of reverse osmosis are used to purify their product. They also pasteurize to kill microbes. LaCroix also brags about using “natural” fruit flavorings, yet neither company can define what that means. Unfortunately, the FDA does not require them to be more specific. Because of this, the term “natural” is certainly used to imply wholesomeness or purity. The LaCroix can is recyclable and the Hint bottle is BPA-free/recyclable. Both of these waters are lightly flavored and because of that, are tastier than plain tap water to people who are giving up sugared beverages.
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) August 9, 2016