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Many factors determine the amount of water needed for optimal hydration. Humidity and altitude will increase the need for water as will physical, mental and emotional stress. Water lost through perspiration will need to be replaced. In the event you consume 6 ounces of alcohol or caffeine, an additional 10-12 ounces of water will be required to keep your body hydrated.

The simplest way to know you’ve consumed enough water is to note the color and odor of your urine. If your urine is not neutral in both its color and odor, you lack adequate hydration.

Rather than drinking water throughout the day and visiting the bathroom frequently, you can take scheduled water breaks. In this way, your bladder will be able to eliminate excess fluids after each session. The first dose of water should occur shortly after you awake, before any other beverages and at least a half hour before breakfast. The second and third water breaks should occur 1/2 hour before lunch and ½ hour before your evening meal. The last break should take place about 2 hours before bed time in order to allow enough time to empty your bladder before retiring for the night.

There are some additional advantages of taking in quantities of water during these sessions. This accelerates hydration by completely filling your empty stomach with water. There will be a temporary feeling of bloating as the water is forced past your stomach and into the small intestine. From there, it is pushed to the large intestine where your body can absorb the needed fluids. This flushes the digestive tract to give you a bit of a mini-cleanse, which helps relieve constipation. Another benefit is that you will be giving your stomach a full sensation just prior to a meal which may help you better regulate food consumption.

So, how much water SHOULD you be drinking? A standard guideline for years was that you should drink 8, 8-oz glasses of water per day. This translates into 64 ounces of water per day. Another rule of thumb is that people should drink 2 to 3 1/2 quarts of water per day. However a single amount doesn't take into account the varying needs of different body types. One way to allow for this is to divide the number of pounds an individual weighs in half. The answer is the number of ounces of water that person should drink daily. Of course, heavy physical activity, stress, or the consumption of diuretics will require drinking even more fluids.

If you find that water doesn’t suit your taste, be sure you are drinking the purest water you can find. It is also possible that your sense of taste might be masked. Consuming sugary drinks can contribute to this condition. Consider cutting back or avoiding them completely. As your water intake increases, your body will be better able to rid itself of toxins. This also helps keep the mucus membranes in the nose and mouth moist, which can enhance the sense of taste and smell. As the taste receptors in your mouth are no longer impaired, you will find the taste of water is not objectionable. More likely, you will begin to enjoy it.

Remember, the need for water varies depending on body size and other factors. Watch the color and odor of urine output to determine whether or not you are well hydrated.

The following video has a lot of good information on the benefits of drinking adequate amounts of water daily. I do not endorse the web sites or recommend the products that she discusses towards the end of the video.


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