“Drink More Water,” They Say
In keeping with this week’s mission to get back on a healthy track, I’ve resumed a very on again, off again effort to drink more water. For years we’ve heard the advice to down 64oz of H2O per day. I’ve tried it and at times I’ve succeeded. I can even remember the first time I truly set my mind to this task, a friend randomly said, “Wow Beth, your skin is glowing, what are you doing?” Ooh, I thought, there really are benefits of water. Well, like any great idea, my marathon water drinking days phased out. Why? Well, in the first place the 100 times a day I had to run to the bathroom eventually became too much. It was uncomfortable and disruptive.
But, I’m willing to try again despite the bathroom issue and the fact that drinking more water leaves me feeling constantly cold. My question is; do the benefits of drinking water outweigh the drawbacks? It’s said that most people don’t drink enough water. When Julia had a fainting spell recently, every doctor and nurse we encountered pushed that she needed to drink more water. She’s an athlete, so that made sense – but I was surprised at how consistent the message was. From the ER staff at Lawrence General to two cardiologists and every nurse we saw at Tuft’s Floating Hospital, they all emphasized that the benefits of drinking water are real. If they are all saying it, then it must be true, right?
Drinking Too Much Water?
Then I remembered a conversation I had with an acupuncturist I visited a couple of years ago. We talked about my general sense of wellness and ending up at water and health. She had me stick my tongue out and proceeded to tell me I was waterlogged. What? She said I’m probably drinking too much water and the “foggy head” I complained about was due, in part, to drinking too much water. “Drink when you’re thirsty,” she said. She told me that while there definitely are benefits of drinking water, you have to listen to what your own body needs. And not every body is the same, so why should we all be drinking the same recommended amounts of water per day? I was intrigued by her comments and liked her Eastern medicine approach.
I stopped guzzling absurd amounts of water and, if I’m being honest, I didn’t see much difference, but I sure as heck enjoyed not having to run to the bathroom every 15 minutes.
Water Intake: Finding What Works for Me
So now what? To drink or not to drink? I’ve decided to employ my life motto – everything in moderation. I’ll be cognizant of how much water I drink and be sure to drink enough to reap whatever benefits of drinking water that I can, but not so much that I feel like I could float away at any given moment. I do believe there is a correlation between water and health, I’m just not sure how much water to drink for my body and my personal activity level.
Tip: When I know I could use a glass of the cool stuff, but I’m not in the mood, I throw in a splash of cranberry juice, a lime and a straw. Suddenly, it’s like sipping a cocktail.