Water is life. You need water to eliminate toxic substances, produce digestive enzymes, maintain healthy skin, hair and organs, and to help your body absorb essential vitamins, minerals and natural sugars. Water also regulates body temperature, stimulates metabolism and helps promote regularity. Fluids other than pure water don’t act the same as water in your body, and they don’t meet your needs for hydration like water does. Most people are slightly dehydrated from relying on other fluids besides water for their fluid intake. Coffee, tea, alcohol, sodas (or any other caffeinated beverages) don’t count; they’re diuretics, which means they actually remove water and nutrients from the body.
Chronic dehydration has been linked to the following symptoms and disease processes: Fatigue, constipation, headaches, indigestion, muscle and joint aches and pains, high blood pressure, depression, allergies, lack of mental clarity, skin issues and excess weight.
Whenever you’re thirsty or hungry, reach for water first to see if it satisfies you. At Heritage IHC, we recommend drinking spring water—Evian or Fiji bottled water is preferred (due to proper pH levels). Drink as many ounces of water every day as are equal to half your body weight in pounds (e.g., body weight 150 pounds = 75 ounces of water a day). Use more water in hot weather or after strenuous exercise. When you’re actually drinking enough water, your urine will be essentially clear.
Many digestive problems, joint and muscle issues, problems with fatigue and even your complexion will clear up with the use of more water, especially when you limit or eliminate fluids that actually dehydrate your body (sodas/caffeinated beverages/alcohol).
It’s okay to drink some water with meals because digestive enzymes are hydrolytic (they are activated by water). So drinking a little water with meals is fine . The bulk of the water you drink throughout the day, however, is best taken between meals.