Drinking enough water is a challenge for most people. Most of us rely strictly on thirst as a reminder to drink, and a mild thirst is an easy sensation to ignore. Relying on thirst alone is usually not enough to make a sufficient difference in how much water you are consuming. Some additional measure is usually required in order to establish this new habit.
Here are some ideas to help you remember:
- Carrying a water bottle with you.
- Drinking at set times of the day.
- Drinking at random times of the day. For example, every time the phone rings think “When was my last drink of water?”
- If you are working in front of a computer screen all day, you can set alarms every couple of hours to remind you to take a drink.
- If you have regular breaks at work, develop a habit of starting each break with a drink.
- Every time you think of drinking a soda, drink water instead.
There is no clear evidence that drinking water during meals hinders digestion. Drinking liquids with meals is usually a matter of preference. However, if your digestion is weak, it is probably best to drink an hour or two after a meal.
Do not forget to increase salt consumption along with the extra water. When drinking lots of water throughout the day, salts (especially sodium) are washed through the kidneys and voided. Increasing salt in the diet helps prevent any imbalance that could result from significant water consumption and low salt intake. For every two quarts of water consumed per day consider an additional 1/2 teaspoon of salt added either to the water or food.
Increased Water Consumption can help with the following
Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever
Some people find that increasing water consumption alone can reduce or even control hay fever symptoms. Make sure to have lots of water every day for at least one week to see if this makes a difference for you. Cutting back on water intake for several days can result in a return of symptoms.
Post Nasal Drip
Inadequate fluid intake will thicken secretions. Increasing the amount of water consumed may thin secretions for better elimination. Some people have a reduction or elimination of upper respiratory allergic symptoms when adequate water is consumed.
The first step in treating hypotension is generally to increase fluid intake. Patients who have discovered the importance of drinking fluids regularly throughout the day seem to do better than those who don’t take this task seriously. Drink a minimum of eight glasses per day of non-alcoholic fluids. Sports drinks that are high in sodium and potassium are recommended, especially during exercise or in hot weather.
Drinking plenty of filtered water is recommended.
Often overlooked, consumption of water often contributes to weight loss. Drink water when you are hungry, or at least a glass of water half an hour before a meal. Water will begin to fill you up and your meal will satisfy you more easily. If your digestion is strong, drinking water with a meal can help also.
Often people mistake thirst for hunger. If you need to lose weight, assume that you make this mistake and drink more water when you feel hungry. Drinking a glass of water before consuming other beverages can reduce calories also, as you will be satisfied with less.
Excess Sugar Consumption
Whenever you feel thirsty, consider substituting Water for sweet drinks. Water is far better at satisfying thirst, and by washing sugar from the teeth can neutralize its effects.
Consuming up to 12 cups of water per day can eliminate the helicobacter infection when present.
Drinking water adds fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. People who have problems with constipation should drink enough water every day, at least eight 8-ounce glasses depending on weight. Other liquids such as coffee and soft drinks contain caffeine and seem to have a dehydrating effect.
Some people are helped by drinking 16oz (half liter) of water after a meal. This gives the stomach extra weight which may pull it downward and allow better closure of the lower esophageal sphincter. Additional downward pressure can be achieved by jumping off a chair after a meal before or after drinking the 16oz of water. The sudden stop on landing has been shown to reduce hiatal hernias and also caused heartburn symptoms to subside.
Cystitis, Bacterial Bladder Infection
The mainstay of prevention is to keep the urine dilute by drinking fluids and urinating often. Added water consumption during an infection will help flush out the problem bacteria. Repeated infections may require that routine water consumption be increased to prevent their recurrence.
Helicobacter Pylori Infection
Drinking more water alone has resolved many cases of H. Pylori infection. The suggested amount is 1 quart per 50 pounds of body weight or generally about 12 glasses per day. Most ulcers can be treated with water consumption and regular use of a good probiotic product. (Am J Gastroenterol May 1999;94: pp.1200-1202.)
To help relieve symptoms, make sure you are getting plenty of fluids – mainly water.
Colds and Influenza
During times of illness it is especially important to maintain fluid intake. Water is best, but If any juice is used during this time, fresh vegetable juice is better than sweet fruit juice.
Don’t forget to continue drinking at least 8 cups a day of water during the infection.
Drinking lots of water can help to loosen thick secretions.
Drinking enough water each day will help discourage kidney infections by reducing the chances that bacteria find their way up from the bladder into the kidneys. Water helps by flushing out your urinary tract. This flushing also helps to prevent formation of kidney stones, which is another risk factor for pyelonephritis.
Hyperkalemia (Elevated Serum Potassium)
Dehydration can make hyperkalemia worse.
Additional water while drinking will reduce the amount of alcohol consumed and afterward will help reduce the dehydration which occurs as a result of the diuretic effect of alcohol. Dehydration plays a part in the symptoms of a hangover and the less dehydrated you are the less severe will be the symptoms. Also, being dehydrated before drinking is only going to make matters worse. So as a general rule, water before, water during, water afterwards….water always.
Drinking a glass of water before bed and then placing a pinch of salt upon the tongue may help bring on sleep, according to Dr. Batmanghelidj, MD. Try not to get the salt on your palate, as it may cause irritation.
Edema (Water Retention)
Excessive water consumption should be avoided until edema has been resolved.
Hyponatremia (Low Sodium)
Mild chronic hyponatremia may not require treatment other than adjustments in diet, lifestyle, or medications. Make sure you are not drinking too much water. Hyponatremia may result from excess fluid in the body relative to a normal amount of sodium, but it could also be due to a loss of sodium and body fluid.
Studies show that water intoxication increases susceptibility to seizures even in normal individuals. Through a complex process, excessive water intake can lower sodium content in body fluids and predispose one to seizures.
Kidney Stones (Urolithiasis)
Adequate fluid intake helps prevent kidney stones.
Drinking plenty of water helps by diluting the acidity and salt in the urine and dilutes any irritants that you might be eating such as caffeine, cranberry, citrus acid, peppers and spices, etc..
The amounts of liquids you drink must be balanced against how much you urinate. This will require your doctor’s help.
Cirrhosis of the Liver
When ascites is present, water intake should be limited to about 1500ml ( 6 cups) per day.
Low Back Pain / Problems
Drink lots of water to maintain optimal hydration for disc integrity, and help reduce any acid buildup in muscles. Often two large glasses of water helps within minutes in acute low back pain. Consistent rehydration may eliminate and prevent future low back pain.
Ensuring plenty of fluids prevents the mucus thickening associated with dehydration and eases mucus removal in patients with bronchitis. Drinking fluids helps the mucus become more watery and thus easier to cough up.
To flush toxins from your system, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily.
|May do some good|
|Likely to help|
|May have adverse consequences|
|Reasonably likely to cause problems|
An essential mineral that our bodies regulate and conserve. Excess sodium retention increases the fluid volume (edema) and low sodium leads to less fluid and relative dehydration. The adult body averages a total content of over 100 grams of sodium, of which a surprising one-third is in bone. A small amount of sodium does get into cell interiors, but this represents only about ten percent of the body content. The remaining 57 percent or so of the body sodium content is in the fluid immediately surrounding the cells, where it is the major cation (positive ion). The role of sodium in the extracellular fluid is maintaining osmotic equilibrium (the proper difference in ions dissolved in the fluids inside and outside the cell) and extracellular fluid volume. Sodium is also involved in nerve impulse transmission, muscle tone and nutrient transport. All of these functions are interrelated with potassium.
(tsp) Equivalent to 5cc (5ml).