Image by ntr23 via FlickrYep that is right WATER. Every single part of our body requires water in some fashion or other to operate. Without water, our bodies would stop working properly. Our blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of our bodies. Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and our bodies would stop working. Water is also in lymph, a fluid that is part of our immune systems, which help us fight off illness. We need water to be able to digest food and get rid of waste. There are so many other ways our bodies use water. Thus it is necessary.
This year, for the most part, I have given up soda, caffeinated beverages, iced tea, juices and all of that and am drinking water. I will admit to the having of a soda here or there but I am keeping that to an extreme minimum. Every day at work I have at least one 32 ounce cup of water and usually finish most of a second. There are days, though, that I barely finish the first. Which begs to the question how much is enough?
There are several approaches but the Mayo Clinics overview is pretty concise.
- Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids.
- Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Another approach to water intake is the "8 x 8 rule" — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, "drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," as all fluids count toward the daily total. Though the approach isn't supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
Even apart from the above approaches, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate.
- Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
The article goes on to point out that other factors impact the fluid intake that we need: exercise, environment, illness or health conditions, pregnancy or breast feeding. All of these impact us and our need for water.
Now my nutritionist wants me to drink 100 fluid ounces a day at least. Some days I do that but some days I just cannot get there. I have found that I now have three 32 oz BPA free Nalgene water bottles in the house that I try to keep constantly fill of filtered water. I take at least 8 oz when taking the medicines every day. That is 24 oz taken care of right there. 32 at work and now I just need 44 oz more. When I look at it like that it is not really a lot.
Why do I mention this? I have watched people recently and what they drink when we are out and about. I see so many people reaching for diet sodas and iced tea. From what I read there are potential side effects to this running the gamut from neuron destruction, emotional disorders, depression, and poor sleep quality, headaches, tinnitus, memory lapses, blurred visions, retinal damage, and may even contribute to cancer. But much of what I read is an opinion or consensus much like this blog. I look for hard evidence when I research to learn and want the actual studies that support what I am reading or a reputable source. These are mentioned as potential effects but not substantiated. Much that I read also states that regular intake of water and milk can help counteract the potential health risks that can be associated with overindulgence of soft drinks.
I just had to say that it feels good to be drinking just water. I thought I would miss the flavors associated with the other beverages I consumed. But I do not, and no, I do not want a slice of lemon in that glass, I just want to taste the cleanness of water.