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Moving Toward Better Health

The official blog of Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic


How Much Water to Drink

Posted by Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Tom Konicki
Dr. Thomas Konicki earned his B.S. in Biology at the University of Cincinnati and then went on to the Los Ange...
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Question: I am trying to drink more water as I think this is healthy. I am confused as to how much I should drink.

Answer: You are absolutely right. We all take a shower or bath regularly. Drinking a lot of water is like taking a bath on the inside. It helps to flush your system and remove toxins.

Water is critical for our survival. After oxygen, it is the most life-sustaining factor. You can typically live for weeks without food, but only a few days without water.

Water helps form the fluid in our joints, the mucus in our lungs to help us breathe and sweat for vaporation to help cool us.
As we age, we lose a significant amount of water in our body. An infant's weight generally consists of 75% water. A 50 year old female has approximately 50% of her body weight in water. That is why diarrhea and dehydration is so dangerous to infants and can result in death.

We lose water through breathing, sweating, urination and bowel movements. When we lose excessive water, we also lose our electrolytes, which include sodium and potassium. This results in dehydration.

Typical signs of dehydration include thirst, weakness, nausea, irritability, confusion, dizziness, abnormal heart rhythm, fluid accumulation in the abdomen and/or lungs, decreased performance and cramps.

We are considered dehydrated when we lose 1-2% of our body weight secondary to fluid loss. A 150-lb. athlete who loses more than 3 lbs may begin to feel the effects of dehydration. If we lose more than 3% of our body weight, we are at risk for more dehydrated-related illnesses like cramps, exhaustion and heat stroke.

So how much water should you drink? This will vary from person to person as well as day to day. Infants require more liquids than adults, so keep the water flowing on those hot days.

It is generally accepted that most adults require approximately 1-3 liters per day. This is 34-105 oz. per day. Another guideline is 1/2 oz. of water for every pound of weight that you weigh.

If you are physically active, such as a construction worker or farmer, you may require up to 16 liters per day on hot days.
Cool beverages 50-60 degrees are the best forms of fluid. Sports drinks can be good and may also replace electrolytes. When they include salt, this helps stimulate your thirst as well.

Some sports drinks are too sweet, containing sugar. This can actually cause dehydration. Avoid fruit juices, sodas, alcohol and the high-sugar sports drinks. They typically stimulate excessive urine production, actually takes more water out of you than you just put in.

If you really dislike drinking water, add a slice a lemon for flavoring. Once you get in the habit, you will actually look forward to drinking it.

Nothing can quench your thirst quite like a cool glass of clean water!

Copyright © 2008 - Konicki Schumacher Chiropractic. All rights reserved.

Dr. Tom Konicki is a board certified chiropractic orthopedist and has practiced for many years in South Dayton. You can reach him at www.kschiro.com or mail your questions to Ask the Chiropractor, 2165 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

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