Water, water everywhere: But how much and what to drink?

by Dr. Cindy Ratkowsi, FLT Columnist

There are so many opinions regarding water. Some argue you should drink when you are thirsty. Others say, “No, that’s too late — drink at least half your body weight every day.” And some people champion the old “eight glasses a day.”

What to do? Frankly, I was as confused as you. The answer is people’s individual needs differ.

Just as with anything else, your body’s need for water varies from day to day. There’s a handy way to self-test to see if you’re getting it right. Here’s how it works:

Stand with your hands by your side for a minute or two. Without raising your arms, look at the inside surface of your bare wrists and notice that your veins bulge a bit. Now extend your arm with the most obviously bulging vein straight out in front of you and watch your wrist. If the bulging vein(s) remains bulged, it means you are drinking sufficient fluids. If the bulge flattens, it indicates that you are not consuming enough fluid.

Fluids should be sipped and not gulped. Consuming a lot of fluid at once results in your body eliminating most of it because it has no time for assimilation. In other words, you’ll have to urinate. So the best way to hydrate is slowly, over time. If you are training or exercising rigorously, more fluids may need to be consumed.

I’m often asked what type of water is best. My answer: your water should be pure and without additives — no colors, vitamins, flavors or sweeteners.

What’s not recommended? Drinking from the tap! It isn’t safe because too many industrial chemicals are present. Pharmaceuticals as well as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides from farming have been found in over 85 percent of our nation’s community water supplies. And let’s not forget about chlorine and fluoride.

Despite the fact that chlorine does function to keep the flora and fauna to acceptable levels, fluoride is mass medication with questionable effect. In any event, both should be filtered out of the water you drink, cook and bathe in because of the ill effects on your endocrine system — especially your thyroid.

Finally, I caution you about trying to regulate your body’s pH with specialty water. It is not the most effective way to do it and often creates more problems than it solves. Consuming large amounts of alkaline or acidic water is a great way to mess up your digestive system. Diet changes are much more effective.

In summary, how much water to consume depends on your individual needs. Test and monitor your wrists. Be sure your water is pure and without colors, vitamins, added minerals, flavors or sweeteners. At a minimum, it should be filtered and, if bottled, the best is artesian or spring water.

For more information, call Dr. Ratkowski at 419-535-9600; email at drcindy@wellness4toledo.com; visit the website at http://www.wellness4toledo.com; or visit Advance Wellness and Chiropractic Center at 3454 Oak Alley Ct. Suite 100, Toledo, Ohio.

 

Advanced Wellness and Chiropractic Center     419-535-9600   Cynthia Ratkowski, DC