Why Your Body Needs to Stay Hydrated
Water is the largest constituent of your body and the medium in which most biochemical reactions occur. It’s required for digestion and absorption of food, delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your cells, and removal of waste products. Water also cushions your joints, plumps up your skin and regulates your body temperature.
Your body contains 40 to 50 quarts of water, and you lose an average of two quarts of water per day through respiration, perspiration and urination. If you don’t replace these losses, your health will suffer.
Tap Water and Bottled Water Aren’t Good Sources
You need to pay attention to the source of the water you drink. For starters, tap water just isn’t safe.
Water in reservoirs which supply tap water goes through a “purification” process. It is heavily chlorinated to kill germs and, in many areas, heavily fluoridated to prevent tooth decay. Sometimes calcium hydroxide or other alkaline substances are also added to change the pH (acidity) of water so it doesn’t corrode pipes.
Environmental pollutants such as fertilizers, insecticides, industrial chemicals and wastes, oil spills and even pharmaceuticals—cholesterol-lowering medications, chemotherapy agents, hormones and antibiotics—have also been discovered in drinking water supplies.
I’m not a fan of bottled water to stay hydrated, either. Environmental burden and excessive costs aside, the purity of bottled water may not be what you’d expect. Research reveals that several brands are no better—and sometimes worse—than regular tap water.
Filtered Water Is Best to Stay Hydrated
Your best bet is to filter your water with a home purification system. Although some experts advocate distillation or reverse osmosis, I favor carbon filtration, which screens out chlorine, pesticides, pathogens and chemicals—without removing important minerals or wasting water in the process.
For clean water on the go, use a refillable stainless steel water bottle.
How Much Water Should You Drink to Stay Hydrated?
I recommend drinking at least 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of filtered water daily to stay hydrated. This may seem like a lot, but if you drink a glass when you get up in the morning and a glass before each meal, you’ll already have four glasses out of the way.
More Dr. Whitaker Advice on Diet and Optimal Health