We’ve all heard that our bodies are made up primarily of water. It’s a crazy, but true fact: about 60% of your body is composed entirely of water molecules!
You probably know that water is important in maintaining good kidney function and beautiful skin. It is needed to carry waste out of the body in the form of sweat, urine, and stool. In addition to these well known uses of water, you’ll be interested to know it is one of the main components of the extracellular matrix that surrounds every cell in your body and is crucial to cell structure and communication. Water is also necessary for the production of ATP which is your body’s energy currency.
Because of these critical processes and many more, it’s important to ensure that you’re well-hydrated and using the best water possible.
How Much Water to Drink
As a general rule, drink half of your body weight in ounces of filtered or spring water everyday. For example:
- a 150-pound person would try to drink about 75 ounces (between 2 and 2½ quarts),
- a 100-pound person would aim for 50 ounces (a little over 1½ quarts), and
- a 200-pound person would shoot for 100 ounces (a little over 3 quarts).
If you are pregnant, nursing, working out, using a sauna, or living in Colorado, you’ll need a little more. You can either set out all of the water you need to drink throughout the day first thing in the morning, or use a glass water bottle and keep track of how many times you need to refill it as the day goes. (Here are 2 glass bottle options: one with a flip cap and one without a flip cap.)
It is important to drink water water before you feel thirsty. Thirst is your body’s cue that you are already a bit dehydrated. Living in a constant state of low-grade dehydration can allow toxins to build up in the body. Even low levels of dehydration can impact athletic performance and cognitive function.
High Quality Drinking and Bath Water
It’s also important that the water you’re drinking is high quality. Typical tap water contains things like fluoride and chlorine which can be challenging for your body, and especially the thyroid as I discuss in the Non-autoimmune Hypothyroidism blog. It can also contain arsenic and many other toxins. I prefer that my patients invest in a filtration system for their homes rather than buy bottled water. There is really no guarantee that the bottled water you are paying for is anything better than tap water and the plastic bottles certainly aren’t improving it. There are many different water filters on the market and the Environmental Working Group has put together a guide that can help you choose one for your home.
Alternatively, an inexpensive way to filter your drinking water is to use a ZeroWater Filter and its replacement filters. These containers and filters are made of plastic, which isn’t my favorite thing for water and food containers; however, the plastic is BPA-free and the price tag makes it an affordable option for those who cannot afford systems that attach directly to the kitchen faucet or that filter the whole house. (On average, each filter will last about a month filtering Denver tap water for 2 adults.)
In addition to drinking water, using high quality shower and bath water is also important. Our skin seeps up what it is exposed to. We can also inhale the chlorine as the water heats up. The Berkey shower head works well to get rid of chlorine. If you are a swimmer, choosing a pool treated with salt water instead of chlorine is ideal. However, we don’t all have access to those, so I recommend trying to minimize absorption of the chlorine by showering first to saturate your skin with fresh water and then showering again immediately after your workout.
Remember… keep that 60% of you feeling good throughout the day by staying well hydrated with high quality drinking and bath water!
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