Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
- We need more water
- Divide your weight in half to figure out how many ounces you need
- Calibrate your glasses at home to figure out how much water you would get if you drank a full glass
- Consult your doctor if you have heart conditions like congestive heart failure. You may have a water limit.
We cannot say it enough. Hydration is essential to optimize health. We need more water. Plain and simple.
Why? Our bodies are 60-70% water, on average. Our organs are up to 80% water by weight. At the organ level, increased fluids helps maintain blood flow throughout the body. It is important for the perfusion of organs – or the passage of blood/fluids through organs to keep them healthy. Adequate water prevents the heart from overworking. Water allows for good filtration via kidney and liver.
On a biochemical level, many biochemical reactions work more efficiently in low viscosity settings. This means they need more water around them to work best.
Under normal conditions, a person on average loses 2 to 3 liters of fluid a day. This does not count exercise or illness like vomiting or diarrhea.
How? A good rule of thumb for how much water to drink is to first get an accurate picture of how much you weigh. No fibbing. Take that number and divide it in half. This is the number of ounces you should drink throughout the day. Multiply that number by 30 to figure out how many ml of water you should get Here’s an example:
Bob weighs 200 pounds. Half of 200 is 100. Bob should drink 100 ounces of water a day. This is 3 liters (3000 ml) of water a day.
Most water bottles are 12 ounces. Bob would drink about 8 water bottles a day to stay adequately hydrated.
What we recommend is calibrating your drinking glasses at home. For example, if you drink from tall glasses and short glasses, fill one with tap water. Take that and pour it into a measuring cup and write down how many ounces or ml are in there. From there you can calculate how many glasses you would need a day. Here is a link to a calculator to convert ounces to ml.
Caffeinated beverages knock you back. Another rule of thumb to follow: if you drink a caffeinated beverage, you should drink 8-12 ounces of ADDITIONAL fluid a day. Caffeine can cause dehydration. Avoid it when you can. Make up for it if you do drink them.
Some patients, especially those with congestive heart failure or kidney disease, may be on a limited water diet. Normally, that number is 2 liters or about 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day. Patients should still strive to get as close as possible to that limit, especially if they are on medicines like diuretics that can cause dehydration if used incorrectly.
As always, consult your doctor or our expert staff to help determine how to optimize your hydration.
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