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How Much Water to Drink?

WaterDo We Really Need 8 Cups of Water a Day?

Ever since I can remember, 8 cups of water a day has been drilled into my head. But what do the experts say? Do we really need to drink 8 cups of water every day?

Water is by far the most essential nutrient we consume- it serves many important functions in our body such as maintaining a proper pH balance and regulating body temperature. Therefore, dehydration occurs very quickly. Water makes up about 60% of our total body weight, and losing just 2-4% of this water causes mild dehydration symptoms. This small drop can trigger fatigue, a slowed metabolism, difficulty focusing, and headaches.

We are constantly losing water throughout the day. 40% of our body fluids are lost simply through breathing and imperceptible sweating each day. Exercise or go out in the heat, and you’ll lose even more. The rest is excreted as urine and waste so it is important to take in enough water to replace the amount we lose daily. This can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as physical condition, climate, and activity level.

The truth is that most people probably don’t need to drink 8 glasses of water each day. There is a lack of scientific evidence to back up this urban myth. This is mainly because we can get water from many more sources than just the pure form. Most fruits and vegetables, for example, are over 75% water. And if you drink other beverages, you’re also consuming water. However it’s important to note that Sunshine Wellness does not recommend beverages with a significant amount of alcohol, caffeine or sugar because they can dehydrate you. If your diet is full of fruits and vegetables, many scientists say that 5-7 glasses of water will keep most of us sufficiently hydrated.

With that being said, it is important that you evaluate your own needs. If you will be outside on a hot day or you exercise frequently, your water needs will be higher. Also, certain medical conditions, over the counter and prescription drugs, and living in high altitude require greater water consumption.

BOTTOM LINE: Although many people don’t actually NEED to drink 8 glasses of water each day, it’s not a bad idea! Remember that thirst doesn’t kick in until AFTER your body is dehydrated. Also, your body can only absorb about a cup of water every 15 minutes so chugging an entire 16 oz bottle whenever you’re thirsty will only lead to excessive urination.

Side Note about Alkalized Water
There are many types of water on the market these days, such as purified, filtered, spring, mineral, alkalized, ionized, tap, well, and tons more. Who would think that we could have so many choices for H20. My gut tells me that basic filtered water will do, but after researching this topic I have become a fan of alkalized water. I’ve had a few clients fighting cancer who have used this water to boost their pH and have seen beneficial changes. It inspired me to give it a try for my family and we have seen a huge improvement in immune function (especially for two toddlers in daycare/preschool). There are various bottled options (plastic) sold at the store, but I’ve been lucky enough to try out a filtration/ionization system that produces water with 9.5 alkalinity and extra antioxidant function. If you live in the Santa Barbara area and would like to try it out, my friend, Ahlem, will deliver you free water for a month! Ahlem can answer all your questions about the water system and can get you started if you are interested:
Ahlem Mayes, Consultant
Cell: 708-4669

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