How Much Water Should You Drink?
I've taken to investigating my patient's water consumption more closely of late. With all the information that we get bombarded with that “we aren't drinking enough water,” or that water consumption is the key to weight loss, clear skin, better sleep, better sex . . . it's no wonder that we are creating a water-logged population. The truth is . . . consuming the right amount of water is a good habit, but over-consuming water can bring about dangerous health conditions.
Question: Do you count vegetables, fruit (80-85% water), grains and cooked beans when you calculate your water consumption? Did you consider the soup you had for lunch (90% water!)? Unless you consume a lot of salt or exercise more than the average person, I'm going to go against the grain and wonder whether you need any extra water at all??!
Here’s the science - The filtration system that exists in your kidneys is composed in part by a series of specialized capillary beds called glomeruli. Besides having to filter waste products from the food that we metabolize, prescription drugs, and dead cells from our blood, our kidneys are forced to handle any excess liquid that we choose to intake. Your glomeruli can, and will, be drowned by forcing excess fluids through your system, and the sad thing is you won't even know it. There are no obvious symptoms that indicate whether you are consuming too much water.
More science - Ingesting more water than you need can increase your total blood volume. Since your blood volume exists within a closed system - your circulatory system - needlessly increasing your blood volume on a regular basis puts unnecessary burden on your heart and blood vessels. This also imbalances the electrolytes in your blood, seeping water into your cells and causing them to swell.
Where we go wrong is thinking that if 8 glasses is the recommendation, then 10 - 16 glasses must be better. Bigger is better, right? No, it’s actually not in this case . . .
Instead, I want to suggest that you pay attention to your body's needs, that you first of all simply notice whether you're thirsty or not. Secondly - Inspect the color of your urine. A clear color alone indicates you’ve consumed too much water, while a dark tone indicates that you have not consumed enough fluids. A clear to pale color is right in the middle and means that your body is working well and excreting what it does not need and using what you’ve ingested to nourish your skin, muscles, organs and brain. Perfect!
Seven Point Wellness