Water, Water Everywhere (Drink Up!)

Americans Don’t Drink Enough Water and It’s Killing Us

Second to oxygen, water is our most important need. A human being can only live approximately six days (at the most) without it. When you don’t have enough water your organs begin to shut down and those days are quite ugly.

Yet, with as much water as we have access to in this country, most Americans are doing themselves a disservice by not taking advantage of it. We may think we are hydrated properly, but the stats are saying something different.  According to, 75% of Americans may suffer from chronic dehydration.

Water maintains the balance of body fluids, it energizes muscles, clears the skin, improves kidney function, neutralizes and dilutes the acidity of your blood, eases bowel movements and reduces caloric intake.

Your primary focus must be to get enough water into your body on a daily basis.

What is the perfect amount of water for maximum energy and performance? There is a conventional formula which says divide your body weight in half. The number you get should be the number of ounces of water you should drink. I weigh 195 pounds. I should drink 97.5 ounces of water each day.

This may be a great way to calculate your water needs, but it does not consider your physical activity or lack thereof. For example, on a steamy day on the tennis court, I may drink a gallon in an hour or two, then more later during the day. The next day I may not exercise at all and I will only need a couple of quarts. In those scenarios there is a variance of 64 to 256 ounces, so the conventional formula does not work very well.

The urine color test is a much better indicator. You are properly hydrated when your urine is clear to a very light yellowish color. The deeper yellow it is the more water you need to start drinking immediately. My recommendation is to start your day drinking at least a half-liter of water.

Starting your day with coffee, fruit juices and other exotic drinks may bring you momentary pleasure, but your body needs water before anything else. When I wake up (usually around 6 a.m.), I start with a full liter before I eat anything. I usually try to consume another liter by lunchtime and sip more during the rest of the day.  This method guarantees that I will get enough water by 6 p.m. (which is my cut-off time). Drinking beyond that hour may mean a few too many trips to the toilet during the evening.

The more water you consume, the more efficiently your metabolism will function. Drink more and live well.

I did a video breaking this all down.:

(Kirk Charles is the author of The 1st Aisle: How to Eat for Maximum Health)



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