The Most Important Nutrient
Have you ever wondered if there was one thing you could eat that would make a positive impact on your health? One thing that, if added to your current diet plan, would help you become healthier, lose weight, feel better, and have more energy?
Well, it turns out there is. And it’s so simple that you might wonder why you never thought about it before.
Yes, really. Most people, especially in America, don’t drink enough plain water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration causes many symptoms:
- physical fatigue
- mental fatigue
- brain fog
- dry mouth
- decreased urination
- body confusion between hunger and thirst signals
- mood changes
Chronic dehydration, which is when a person consistently does not drink enough water contributes to, worsens, or causes a variety of health concerns:
- increase in asthma symptoms
- high blood pressure
- Body’s inability to effectively remove toxins from the blood
- adult onset diabetes
- arthritis pain
- back pain
- increased symptoms for those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, or Lyme Disease
- high cholesterol
- kidney stones
- other kidney problems
- inability to lose weight
How much water does a person need to avoid dehydration and maximize health? Well, that’s a tough question to answer. Much depends on where you live, how active you are, and your individual body chemistry. There is no “magic number” of ounces you should drink per day. There are, however accepted guidelines for what constitutes “enough water”
There are two schools of thought on this. One says that you should drink enough water so that you urinate about every 2-3 hours AND your urine is a very pale yellow.
The other school of thought says that you should drink enough so that your urine is almost clear. This method of judging water intake doesn’t take into account how many times a day you urinate.
For clients who are in generally good health, who are not overweight, and who have no major system imbalances, I recommend following the first guideline.
For people who are overweight, have high blood pressure, circulatory, elimination, or other system imbalances, I recommend a combination of approached. These people do better when they drink enough water so that they urinate every 3 hours or so, AND their urine is clear.
The problem I see with the second set of guidelines is that sometimes people will drink nothing all day, and then try to drink a gallon of water between dinner and bedtime to “make up for it.” That is unhealthy. Those people run the risk of overtaxing their kidneys and leave themselves open to developing water intoxication.
Many people believe that tea, coffee and soft drinks count toward their daily water intake. This is wrong. Coffee, tea and soft drinks are actually dehydrating and increase your water intake needs. You may, however, add a bit of lemon, apple cider vinegar(ACV), pure vanilla extract, or a sprig of fresh herbs, like mint leaves, to your water to make it taste better. One of my favorites is a teaspoon or so of ACV and a touch of pure stevia, or a stevia leaf to 3 cups of water. I do suggest that half of the water you drink should be plain water with no additions.