Ask Dr. Marty: It’s All About Water! Drink It Up!

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Question:
How can I drink as much water as you recommend without spending the day in the bathroom?

Dr MartyAnswer:
I wish I had a nickel for every time… Imagine you want to rehydrate a raisin. So, you pour a glass of water over it. It is still just a wet, shriveled up raisin at the end of the day? Drip a little water on a raisin every five minutes for four hours. It will be a plump, juicy, raisin. The same is true with our bodies which are 2/3 water. When our organs are dehydrated, they can’t absorb the water they need, unless they are given that water a little at a time. Chugging a glass of water puts stress on our kidneys and bladder, and won’t rehydrate our cells, where it is really needed.

So how much water do you need? Take your weight and divide it in half for the number of ounces needed per day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need 75 ounces daily. If you drink diuretics, like non-herbal tea, coffee or soft drinks, add those quantities to your requirements to compensate. If you perspire, add that amount of water to your requirements. Herbal tea and a small amount of fruit juice count the same as water. Ramp up gradually to where you want to be. Walking can be great for many areas of your health, but you don’t walk five miles on the first day of your exercise program. That sets you up for failure. The same applies to drinking more water.

Now for the real eye-opener. When your organs don’t have enough fluid, nerves cannot relay messages, nutrients can’t be transported to each cell, cellular waste and toxins can’t be washed away, and chemical reactions for every function in the body cannot happen.

Do you have:
• Adult-onset diabetes? (Dehydrated cells can resist insulin.)
• Arthritis? Gout? Back pain? (Acids accumulate in the body.)
• High blood pressure? (Decreased blood volume requires harder pumping to circulate blood.)
• Kidney stones? (The residue that forms stones can accumulate.)
• Weight gain? (What we think is hunger is often thirst.)
• Irregular heart rhythm? (A dehydrated heart has valves that don’t close properly, creating leaks.)

I am not saying that if you start drinking enough water, you will be rid of all maladies that might plague you. Many people, however, feel considerably better with even small increases in water intake and over time have eliminated or reduced major symptoms. But, you can substantially lower your risk of taking on these problems, as well as many others, with ideal water intake.

Hot Tip #1: Good, clean water from a glass container is much easier to drink than water that doesn’t taste good.

Hot Tip # 2: You get a bonus this month. Until you get used to drinking more water, put a small amount of fruit juice in your water to make it more festive. Once you get rehydrated, you will actually like water better. One of the first signs of dehydration is lack of thirst. Think about that!

Stay well.

Marty Kernion, Ph.D. is not a medical doctor. She has a doctorate in naturopathy. Naturopathy uses natural, gentle ways to bring our bodies back into balance so that they have the God-given ability to heal themselves. She is a retired professor of herbal medicine and nutrition and has written 39 college level courses in natural approaches to health. She has published two books on natural health. She can be reached on askdoctormarty@cox.net for scheduling a class or consultation, or for sending in your questions for this column.