My mom, God bless her, is going to be 93 years old this July. She was a smoker from her 20’s until her early 80’s I think. She finally quit one day with the help of the nicotine patch and lots of hard candies. I always say if my mom can quit in her 80s after smoking for over 50 years…then anyone can do it. Unfortunately, after my mom quit she was diagnosed with emphysema. She was immediately put on Theophylline and another drug whose name escapes me now. She had to use her inhaler 3 times a day and frequently woke up in the middle of the night to use it. Ask any MD and he will tell you that people with emphysema do not improve, they only get worse.
Now one of the many things I love about my mom is that she is not at all stubborn and very open to advice. One of the things I don’t like about my mom is her taste in furniture as evidenced by this picture…but I digress. My mom likes her doctor a lot but she doesn’t think he is God. I gave her some nutrition and supplement recommendations and today my mom is off all drugs for her emphysema. And what does her doctor say? He says “keep doing whatever you are doing” but surprisingly, he has never asked her what she is doing.
The topic of this post is water and how much we should drink on a daily basis. I brought up my mom because it reminds me of a conversation I have with her about once every few months. You see my mom is getting a little forgetful which is understandable. Her brain is still quite vibrant and healthy but she often forgets little details of our conversation. So every now and then we get on the topic of water. I want to make sure she is not dehydrated so I ask her how much water she is drinking. The conversation usually goes something like this:
Me: Are you drinking enough water?
My mom: Yes, I had 2 cups of tea and 2 glasses of juice.
Me: No, I asked how much water did you drink?
My mom: Does tea not count?
My mom: How about juice?
Me: No, water means water. H2O, not T2O or J2O but H2O mom!
My mom: Oh in that case probably not enough
I imagine most people think like my mom….that drinking water means anything….well….wet. And some people think that anything wet counts towards your liquid intake for the day. I prefer to encourage people to drink plain water. If you don’t like the taste of water you can put a lemon wedge in it. But caffeinated tea and coffee are actually diuretics and make you lose water and most juices are loaded with sugar. So try your best to drink plain bottled or filtered water.
So how much water do we actually need?
One basic rule is to drink at least 8×8 or (8) 8 ounce glasses of water. Another approach is is to take your weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces you should drink each day. I.E. if you weigh 150 pounds, you might want to drink at least 75 ounces of water per day or 9 eight ounce glasses.
And if you are an athlete or someone who works out hard every day you need to replace the water you lose through sweat by drinking more than the recommended amount. Ditto if you live in a very hot climate where you sweat a lot.
You may remember from science class that our bodies are made up of about 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water and we need water to regulate body temperature. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. If you don’t drink enough water dehydration will set in and you will experience headaches, tiredness and loss of concentration.
I like to try and drink 2 full glasses of water before breakfast and 2 full glasses before dinner as it tends to fill me up. I also sip bottled water all day long.
Drinking enough water is one change you can start immediately that will make a big difference in your overall health. Drink up people!