Okay so we’ve all heard that we need water to survive. I am going to attempt to give my perspective to add to the fray. Our bodies are approximately 60-75% water, depending on your body type amongst other things. It’s the most abundant nutrient in the body. Now I call it a nutrient because we need it as a solvent which promotes the availability of the substances in the cells and provides the basis for our metabolic reactions. Without it our metabolism wouldn’t run and millions of chemical reactions would screech to a halt. When pure, water contains no nutritional value such as calories, vitamins or minerals. Some companies try to do their best to add these to it. However, it not only messes with the absorption and in actuality we don’t get our vitamins and minerals from water. We get them from our food, namely fruits and vegetables. I won’t go on a rant here but promise to get to the point.
How much water is needed?, you ask. I’ve heard it all, but the one that sticks in my mind is 8 glasses a day; probably because this is what was drilled into my head while in elementary school. I wonder where this number came from. And I continue to wonder as there is no scientific basis for it. It’s not the magic number that’s for sure, nor is it my lucky number. I think it does serve a purpose because most of us don’t drink enough water in our day and so having a fixed number as a goal is useful. The medical community favours drinking 1 litre a day for an adult male, excluding the extra requirements that may be needed due to living in warm climates or exercising. The precise amount of water to drink really depends on so many variables, such as temperature, humidity, activity, acidity of the body and other factors. If your kidneys are healthy really you don’t need to worry about drinking too much water. However, before you go and start downing endless glasses of water, you should know that you can drink too much. I remember the story about the radio contest and the poor lady who drank too much water and died as a result. Moderation and listening to your body is important. If you are thirsty you’ve likely gone too long without water. By the time your brain signals you that you’re thirsty you are dehydrated or heading to that state.
I won’t delve too much into the acidity of the body here but often times our diet is abundant with processed foods and those which create acidity in the body. When the body is in this state it creates a vulnerability to bone loss, weight gain and cancer. Drinking pure water helps in this regard. If you’re interested in more info on this check out the video that’s posted under nutrition.
Lastly, I don’t drink tap water. Not only does it contain residuals from the water treatment plants, but it also contains chlorine or chloride which can be bad for us if we ingest or are exposed to too much. In the US, the proposed federal drinking water standard for chlorine is 4 parts per million and they recommend that you avoid drinking water containing chlorine that is higher than that. In Vancouver the water containing chloride ranges from 0.6 – 2.9 ppm. Most city water reports can be obtained online. In addition, we are lucky as a Chiropractor friend pointed out a few months ago, that our water is not fluoridated. This practice is banned in most European countries as well as Japan and China. Floride when consumed can actually make your teeth yellow. Go figure. Other bonuses in our tap water, include but are not limited to compounds that leech from pipes, animal bacteria and feces, etc. Need I go on?
So here’s the goods. Some simple rules that I apply to my life in order to keep balance with water are as follows:
– I avoid tap water and only drink filtered water (reverse osmosis or distilled).
– Take your bodyweight (lb ÷ 2 = oz/day; i.e. 230 lb ÷ 2 = 115 oz water/day which is around 14 cups per day).
– If you eat veggies and fruits you can decrease this number by 2 servings = 1 cup. (i.e. if you eat 2 servings of fruit or veggies then subtract a cup of water from the above figure).
–If you are exercising or in warm weather try to sip a few swallows of water every fifteen minutes. Being dehydrated while exercising will decrease performance and decrease the body’s ability to circulate much needed oxygen and such that are vitally needed during times of need.
That’s it. A pretty simple concept and flow to live by. Cheers!