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Posted on 10-02-2017

Water – How Much is Enough?                      Article of the week Oct 2-6, 2017

Have you ever wondered how much water you should be drinking in a day to be optimally healthy?  Last week when we had our heat wave I noticed the signs of dehydration in a number of you who were coming in for your adjustments.  Oftentimes I hear a blanket recommendation that 8 glasses of water per day is the magic number if you want to be properly hydrated.  In this article of the week I want to address the signs that indicate you may be dehydrated, and how to determine how much water per day is right for you.

Drinking enough clean water is imperative if you want to enjoy good health and feel good in your body.  Your blood is 85 percent water, your muscles are 80 percent water, your brain is 75 percent water, and even your bones are 25 percent water.  None of your body tissues can function properly if they are not properly hydrated.

How much water you require depends on a number of variables including the climate you live in, your age and your activity levels.  Let me start by listing the most common ways that your body speaks to you if you are not drinking enough water:

*  Feeling sleepy, tired and lethargic                                      *    Feeling dizzy or light-headed

*  Experiencing brain fog, difficulty concentrating                  *    Muscle cramps

*  Constipation                                                                       *    Infrequent urination

*  Mood swings, anxiety, irritability                                         *    Dry, pasty mouth

*  Sugar cravings                                                                   *    Headaches

If you are chronically or severly dehydrated it can lead to more significant health problems like high cholesterol, low blood pressure, increased heart rate and breathing, kidney stones as well as showing signs of pre-mature aging with dry, parched skin.

So how can one tell if the symptoms they are experiencing may be coming from dehydration?  It's simpler than you think.  Track how many times you empty your bladder in a day.  You should be voiding 4-7 times depending on the size of your bladder.  If it's less than 4, chances are you need to increase your intake.

Pay attention to the colour of your urine.  It should be a very light straw or yellow colour.  If your urine is darker, increase your intake.  You can also get information from the odour of your urine.  Your urine should be odourless.  As your kidneys filter waste products from your blood, they are combined with water so that they can be excreted in your urine.  If the waste products are too concentrated because of dehydration, your urine may have an ammonia-like smell.

Another simple test is to empty your bladder and then drink 2-3 cups (500-750mL) of water, wait an hour, and then empty your bladder into a collection cup and measure your output.  If you eliminate significantly less than you drank it means you are retaining water and are dehydrated.

If you are dehydrated, the fastest way to restore your hydration is to drink cold water which is absorbed 20% faster than tepid or room-temperature water.  And remember, water is by far the healthiest choice when trying to re-hydrate, as opposed to fruit juice or other beverages.

Have a fantastic week!

Dr. Tim

Grace Chiropractic – 1-3230 Monarch Drive – 705-323-9100 – http://gracechiropractic.ca

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