Saturday, February 23, 2013

How much Water to Drink? The Perfect Answer.

How much water to drink?

You get a number of answers to this question – each one different from the other.

The fact is, many of us neither have a clear idea nor do we care about it - ‘Water is such a trivial thing to be worried about. There are many important things in life to be taken care of.’

Agreed. There are very important things in life. Your well being – physical and mental – is essential to attend to those important things. Physical health and mental health are not separate. Each influences the other.

Do you know that you can get into many major and minor health problems because -
  • You don’t drink enough water
  •  You don’t drink water at the right time
  • You drink water at the wrong time
Just one example:
Shortage of water in your body will lead to constipation. Hemorrhoids, gas and bloating, skin diseases, bad breath and many more health problems arise from constipation.

So - how much water to drink – is not a trivial issue.

People drink as they like- one glass, two glasses, four…eight glasses maximum. They don’t follow a system because, everybody is doing the same. If everyone is doing it, it must be right.

The present day attitude is- ‘If I fell sick, no matter, others are also falling sick. I am not alone! Health problems are common to humans.’

There is no time or inclination in people to think that their lifestyle is what is causing all the health problems.

Coming back to – how much water to drink in a day:

Doctors say – The amount of water your body uses per day, replenish that much water… Good theory.

Let us see how much water is spent in a day.

  • Evaporation in lungs – 500 ml.
  •  Evaporation in colon – 400 ml.
  • Evaporation through skin even without sweating – 500 ml
Total water lost due to evaporation: 1400 ml.

  • Water lost in the form of urine and sweat - 1 to 1.5 lt
  In winter, less sweat and more urine. In summer, more sweat and less urine. If you exercise or work more- more sweat and less urine.

 Total water lost from the body: 2.5 to 3 lt.

So, as per doctors, it is enough if you drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water per day.

But, the theory of ‘refilling the amount of water lost’ holds good if and only if 

  1.  You eat natural food,
  2.  You don’t take medicines.
  3. The food stuff you eat is free from chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
  4. Your food is free of spices, sugar, oil and excess salt.
  5. You are free from tension.

More water is needed for digesting food containing spices, sugar, oil and salt and some more water for flushing them out.

Water is needed to wash out chemicals in food – fertilizers, pesticides. Processed items like packaged foods, juices and soft drinks have chemicals.

If you use alcohol, tobacco etc, your body need much more water to flush them out.

In addition to all this, the present day life is filled with tension. Tension releases harmful hormones – water is required to remove them.

With all this additional requirement for water, 2.5 to 3 liters of water is not enough.

Taking the additional requirement into account, the question of- how much water to drink – is answered in the chart given below.

The quantity of water chosen was not arbitrary. If your body has shortage water, it tells you in the form of symptoms. In fact, it is not only water, your body shows symptoms of any deficiency. If you don’t react to fulfill the deficiency, symptoms become problems.

There are seven such symptoms that show up due to water shortage in the body.

By drinking less than 2 liters, you get all the 7 symptoms. If you drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water in a day, you get 4 or 5 symptoms.

4 to 5 liters a day will make all the 7 symptoms vanish. You get all the benefits of drinking water.

That answers the most confusing question – how much water to drink – you need 4.5 to 5 liters.

For people doing good amount of physical work or exercise, 5 to 6 liters
is required.

Important points related to – how much water to drink.

Drink ½ liter less water in winter and ½ liter more in summer.

Elders need less water – no extra cell growth, less physical activity, less food intake. In fact, the number of cells starts decreasing.

WHO(World Health Organization):
As per WHO, females need less water than males, but only to a small extent. But their requirement of water increases during pregnancy – to almost 5 liters and 5.5 liters during lactation period.

Pregnant women:
The basic reason why many pregnant women have vomiting and morning sickness: shortage of water in the body. She needs more water during pregnancy. Here too people make the same mistake – they give more importance to food. They are not aware of the importance of drinking water.

Normally, pregnant women are pampered - they do less or no exercise, overfed and dehydrated. The result is – morning sickness, constipation and weight gain.


'How much water to drink' is much more important in the case of growing children as they need more water for the growth of new cells. But mothers usually give more importance to food and health drinks than to water. Even when the child wants to water, he is not allowed. Because, elders’ feeling is – if he drinks more water, he can’t eat more food. Terrible mistake, because of ignorance.

Didn’t you notice mothers snatching away water glass from children? When a baby cries, we immediately feed her with milk, let it be mother’s milk or feeding bottle.

Instead, you should feed water first. It does two important things:

  • Fulfills her body’s water needs.
  •  Keeps her away from constipation.
Children with water deficiency suffer from constipation - pass hard or ball shaped stool, making evacuation a painful exercise. Even though milk contains good amount of water, it is not enough.

Consider water is as important as milk – He will pass regular and soft stools comfortably. Stop feeling that if your child is fed with water, he will skip milk. Be assured – he won’t. He will drink just the amount of water he needs.

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