Drinking water is incredibly important to our health. You know this, I know this, we all know this. But does that mean we all actually drink enough water on a daily basis? Absolutely not. In fact, most of us drink so little water that we are in a constant state of mild dehydration. But we don't even know it.
Most of us think that dehydration would be obvious. And yes, if you were severely dehydrated, I bet you could figure that one out. But mild dehydration is different. It shows up in ways that most of us ignore or attribute to something else. We also tend to be in denial about how much we drink. We want to believe that those 4 cups of coffee we drink every day are all the liquids we need. So we totally miss the signs that we are slightly dehydrated and our health, our bodies, and our lives suffer.
Signs of Mild Dehydration
- poor concentration
- dampened mood
- worsened memory
- difficulty sleeping
- bad breath
- dry skin
- muscle cramps
- cravings for sweets
Here is what I want you to imagine. You drink plenty of water and your body is nice and hydrated. You have more energy in the morning and maybe only drink one cup of coffee instead of two. Or maybe you don't need coffee at all. You are laser focused at work and super productive. In the afternoons, you still have plenty of energy. You don't need more coffee or that sweet snack. You no longer get those headaches in the evening and your skin has a healthy glow.
You didn't know hydration could do that, did you? If dehydration is causing those symptoms, then yes, drinking water will be a magic solution. This is something that I have personal experience with. Drinking enough water has always been a challenge for me especially in the winter months. But I notice a huge difference in my energy, mood, concentration, and productivity when I drink enough water. Even after one day of drinking more water, I notice a difference.
So How Much Is Enough?
First of all, you need to talk to your doctor to determine the appropriate amount of water for you. With certain health conditions, you may have to restrict your fluid intake. With that being said, for most people, a general rule of thumb is half your body weight in ounces. So if you weight 150 lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water a day. Depending on your activity level and current health, you may need to drink more than that.
Kleiner, S. Water: an essential but overlooked nutrient. Journal of the American Dietetic Association . 1999;99(2): 200-206.
Fernandez, E. Water for your thoughts. Tampa Bay NEW TIMES . 2000; June 30.
I'm Dr. Carly and my mission is to create a health revolution. I believe that another prescription is not the answer. I believe in using natural therapies that go beyond the symptoms. And I believe that doctors should spend way more than 7 minutes with a patient.