How Much Water is EnoughHow much water you need to drink to maintain hydration depends on your weight. You should drink 35ml of water per kilogram of body weight. So:
9 stones (57.15 kg) = 2 litres (4.23 pints)
11 stones (69.85 kg) = 2.5 litres (5.28 pints)
13 stones (82.55 kg) = 3 litres (6.34 pints)
15 stones (95.25 kg) = 3.5 litres (7.39 pints)
I however weigh 9st 10lbs and generally drink around six pints of water per day, more when I have a busy clinic and doing a lot of talking (it's very dehydrating). And this does not include any water you drink whilst doing strenuous exercise, that's additional.
If you are not currently drinking enough water then no doubt you will have gasped and immediately proclaimed you could not possibly drink that much. You will be surprised, you can, it's what your body needs. Once you become accustomed to drinking enough water you will find it much easier as it is how much you will want. Remember, thirst is an emergency signal pushing you to drink immediately. Do not wait to be thirsty to drink.
WarningChronically dehydrated people are always very quick to tell me that it can be dangerous to drink too much water. And that's perfectly right, it can be. You should not drink huge amounts in one go.
When I first started doing colonics I used to ask people to drink more water in the time between booking and coming for their first appointment. One day a new client arrived and when I asked if she had drunk more water she informed me that she had not done so in the time leading up to the appointment but had drunk two litres right before the appointment. That is too much in one go especially for someone who is chronically dehydrated. In fact in some circumstances it's just enough to potentially cause fatal swelling to the brain.
Some people may well remember the ecstasy related deaths during the 1990s. The victims were not killed by the drug but by their massive over consumption of water.
When to DrinkSo don't drink huge amounts of water at once, spread your consumption throughout the day. If you drink more earlier in the day then you won't have to be getting up to use the loo during the night.
Get yourself a pint glass because you will drink more if it's to hand and it will feel less than two smaller glasses.
Drink your first pint of water when you get out of bed in the morning. Ideally drink it at body temperature or warmer and add a squeeze of lemon juice to give your liver a light cleanse.
Have your next pint of water when you get to work. And then drink another pint of warm water to be finished half an hour before you have your lunch. Don't drink when you are eating: it dilutes the acid in your stomach and impairs digestion. If you must have a drink then have no more than a small wine glass. Once your hydration status improves you will not feel the need to drink when eating. And then don't drink for at least an hour after your meal (more if it was a heavy meal). Your weight will determine how many drinks you have to fit in between meals - just space them regularly.
Have another pint of warm water half an hour before your evening meal and one just before you go to bed.
If you feel the need for hot drinks then have hot water with lemon juice (fresh not from a bottle with all the additives) or herbal teas (but not fruit ones). There are a wide variety of herbal teas to choose from now and they generally have more taste than they used to. I particularly like the brands Pukka and Yogi. Keep trying new ones until you find some you like. You can count these drinks into your water consumption.
Which Kind of Water is BestThe water I prefer to drink is Kangen Water. I have a Kangen Water Machine and it produces truly superior water at a fraction of the cost of buying branded bottled water. I consider it to be the best investment I have made in my health. I am Kangen Water Machine distributor but its not something I am actively engaged in - I had wanted a machine for years before they became available in the UK but get in touch if you would like to know more about getting your own machine or I am happy to supply you with the water if you live locally.
Used in hospitals in Japan, Kangen water is recommended by world famous gastric surgeon Hiromi Shinya. Have a look at some footage of colons before and after making dietary changes and drinking Kangen Water - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=han3AfjevOc .
Kangen water has a sophisticated filter so contains no chemicals (such as chlorine), no heavy metals (such as lead). It has a different molecular structure with micro clusters so absorbs 6 times more quickly, contains large amounts of antioxidants, is ionised so aids detoxification and alkaline so restores the body's natural ph.
Kangen Water is also very pleasant to drink and has much less volume so a whole pint can be drunk easily with no bloating or "glugging" in your stomach.
Bottled WaterCan be expensive and cheaper versions are no better than using a jug filter at home. To be sure of purity choose water from a natural source such as Evian or Volvic. Alternatively choose one which claims to be alkaline. I have however tested several alkaline waters and they did not all pass the test.
Filtered Tap WaterUnfortunately by removing chlorine many filters make the water more acidic which is not desirable. Only the most sophisticated remove oestrogens, fluoride and heavy metals. I do however consider filtered water to be marginally more desirable than plain tap water. You can buy alkalising beads on the internet and you can also buy alkalising jug filters. I have never used either so am unable to vouch for how well they work.
Tap WaterIt has to be said that we are unbelievably lucky to live in a country where the water is at least safe in that you are not going to get cholera, typhoid or a whole host of other life threatening conditions. Nor is it contaminated with arsenic which is apparently common in the US.
The water treatment plants in the UK however largely date from the Victorian period and are ill equipped to remove modern contaminants. In addition much of the water delivery system is also old and not that clean.
Quality of tap water varies greatly throughout the UK but it all contains chlorine, some also has added fluoride and other contaminants that are not good for us. Drinking tap water is however way better than being chronically dehydrated so if tap water is the best you can do then so be it.
Fats & Cellular HydrationOnce your body has been forced into survival mode by lack of water it needs some help to re-hydrate.
In order to survive when water is in short supply our body's have to take emergency action. Your brain, control central, has to have priority. Second in line is your blood. It can only reduce water content up to 8% before it would start to cause you serious problems. So the rest of your body has to bear the brunt of the shortage. Each cell in your body requires water to function but in an emergency the cells coat themselves in cholesterol to keep what water they have inside. This is meant to be a short term measure. However in long term chronic dehydration this sealing not only retains the water, it holds the metabolic waste of the cell inside too and prevents nutrients and other substances entering.
In order to break down this cholesterol coating it is essential to supplement your diet with essential fatty acids such as Antarctic Krill Oil (I will be talking more about the benefits of Krill Oil in later posts), other high quality fish oils (make sure you get one guaranteed free from mercury and other contaminants) or for vegetarians Udo's Oil.
In addition to supplementation you should ensure that your diet contains adequate healthy oils such as Cold Pressed Nut and Seed Oils (not for cooking, just dressings), Hemp Oil (again dressing salad or cooked vegetables), Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil (good for cooking as it has a high smoking temperature).
Essential fatty acids are just that essential (we will look at them in more detail in later posts) so you should supplement with them permanently.
Ensuring your intake of essential fatty acids is adequate will allow each and every cell to restore healthy function, taking in nutrients and eliminating waste.
It's a ProcessDon't worry if you don't manage to drink your full quota straight away. Just increase your water consumption gradually and keep going. But bear in mind that the sooner you start drinking enough the sooner you will start feeling the benefits. Remember that getting hydrated is the single most important thing you can do for your health: it's the first step to restoring the youthful health and vitality that is rightfully yours.
What's Next?In my next post we will be taking a look at essential fatty acids and specifically Krill Oil in a little more detail. We've covered the role of EFAs in re-hydrating but they are essential to every aspect of our health.
Wishing you health and happiness