The recommended amount of water needed daily is simple to remember. Divide your body weight in half, and drink that amount of water in ounces. For example, if your weight is 120 pounds, then you should drink approximately 60 ounces of water each day. Another suggestion is to always drink water when you are thirsty.
Insufficient water intake can result in dehydration, a condition that prevents the body from carrying out its normal functions. Dehydration can happen following a strenuous workout, or a prolonged period of time in hot temperatures. Vomiting and diarrhea during illness may also cause dehydration. Simply feeling tired can be a sign of dehydration. Other symptoms include thirst, a dry, sticky mouth, urine that is dark, muscle cramps, intravascular blood clotting, constipation, dizziness, headaches, kidney stones, gallstones, dry skin, and feeling hungry. If the dehydration is severe, confusion, irritability, rapid heartbeat, and loss of consciousness, and even death may occur.
However, there is the possibility of drinking too much water! A condition called hyponatremia (a diluting of the concentration of sodium in the blood) is the result of drinking too much water by itself, according to Joseph Verbalis, chairman of medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center (Scientific American). Water rushes into the cells and swelling occurs, especially in the brain. During a state of dehydration, water should be sipped slowly throughout the day instead of gulping large amounts in a short period of time. A gallon of water in one hour is too much and can cause dangerous effects, even when you are not dehydrated. It’s best to replace approximately the amount of water lost during dehydration, which can be determined by when the urine is a pale yellow and no longer dark.
What about hydrating with drinks other than water? Caffeinated drinks act as diuretics, which means they can dehydrate the body more. Sodas are high in sugar and contain harmful chemicals used for coloring. Sweetened beverages increase the risk of obesity which can lead to many other illnesses. The best practice for health is to keep the body hydrated with pure, fresh water throughout the day. Water is the best cleansing and hydrating liquid for the body. And, by the way, that was the drink given to Adam and Eve by God in the beginning. No wonder it is the best!!