I’m reposting this blog as a reminder… Dehydration causes a multitude of problems for the body!
It’s Summer, and the Arizona heat can be brutal this time of year!
Don’t think that you only need to keep up with your hydration in the warm months, or only in hot climates. Drinking water is essential to stay alive year round wherever you live. But how much water do we really need?
Hippocrates (460–377 BCE) is quoted as having said: “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health”. Water falls soundly into the nourishment category, so how much water do we need to drink to stay healthy?
The old recommendation (and I mean old) of 8 cups of water a day was traced back to a 1921 paper in which the author measured his own urine and sweat produced over the course of a day, and determined that we lose 3% of our body weight in water a day, or about 8 cups.
Hardly a scientific study by today’s standards considering the average 20 year male stood 5′- 9″ tall and weighed 170 pounds in 1910. The very same 20 year old man today weighs 196 pounds. With that being said, if that man subscribes to the 8 cups of water a day theory, then he is not drinking enough water and is probably severely dehydrated!
There are studies that suggest not drinking enough water may be associated with falls and fractures, heat stroke, heart disease, lung disorders, kidney disease, kidney stones, bladder and colon cancer, urinary tract infections, constipation, dry mouth, cavities, decreased immune function and cataract formation.
If you don’t take anything else away from this article, please remember this:
Water is the only liquid that truly hydrates the body!
It could be a fatal mistake to think that any fluid can replace the water needs of your body. Other beverages do not function in the body like pure water. Juice, tea, and other liquids don’t hydrate as much because, quite simply, they are not pure water. Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, soda, and black tea don’t hydrate because they are actually dehydrating diuretics. Drinking coffee, tea, or alcohol, results in your body excreting all of the liquid in the drink, plus additional water.
Based on all the best evidence to date, the U.S. Institute of Medicine, authorities from Europe and the World Health Organization recommend between 8 to 11 cups of water a day for women, and 10 to 15 cups a day for men. This includes water from all sources, not just beverages. We get about a liter from food and the water our body makes. So this translates into a recommendation for women to drink 4 to 7 cups of water a day and men 6 to 11 cups, assuming only moderate physical activity at moderate ambient temperatures. There are also some schools of thought that suggest you drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of fluid daily. A 200 pound man should consume 100 ounces or 12.5 cups. Do you see the trend here? Water, Water, Water.