Science Behind Water Drinking
How Much Water Should a Person Drink? The obvious answer is: it depends on how much water is been used throughout the day.
Minimal Body Fluid Loss
According to the studies on fluid physiology, on average, a person loses per day 1,600 mls:
- Insensible loss (evaporation from skin and respiratory tract): 800 ml
- Minimal urine volume to excrete solute load: 500 ml
- Feces: 200 ml
- Minimal sweat loss: 100 ml
This does not take into consideration any possible exertion, like hot weather, fever, and active physical activity.
Our body can replace some of the losses with metabolic water, produced during oxidation of food, as the food is broken down to carbon dioxide and water. Metabolic water offsets our need by about 350-400 mls per day. If we deduct metabolic water from food oxidation, it means that we still need to drink min of 1,200 mls or 5 cups of fluid daily JUST for maintenance of our minimal body functions.
Water Loss through Activity and Heat
According to research rigorous physical exercise and heat may decrease body mass up to 2.8%, unless water is replenished. In another experiment school teenagers consumed 1 l of water within 12 hrs prior to an experiment (including 500 ml 1 hr prior) and then performed active exercising for 90 min. Some participants wore 3-layer heavy clothing, and others did not. The first ones lost over 2 lbs, which constituted 1-2% of their body weight. The weight loss of the control group that did not wear heavy clothes was negligible, which means that the water they drank was sufficient to keep them hydrated while maintaining the activity.
When you exercise, you should consume an additional 1 fluid oz for 1 oz of lost body mass, or 2 cups of water for every pound lost during exercise. In the experiment above it was approximately 1 l for those who were wearing normal clothes and exercising for 90 min.
Dehydration While in an Airplane
One flying a lot may easily get numb to the regular offerings of water and juices during their stay on board. However, your body has a huge need to stay hydrated when you are on an airplane. Up to 5-12% of body weight can be lost due to dehydration in high-flying airplanes because of exposure to dry air.
Body Fluids Turnover
When determining how much water to drink, its loss is only one of our considerations. Water in a form of body fluids constantly moves between blood and lymph vessels to intracellular compartments. This movement fluid turnover is called internal fluxes. Such turnover of lymph is 2.5 litres per day, bowel 8-9 l, kidneys 180 l and capillaries 80,000 l. Some water is lost during the process of water diffusion into the capillaries, blood and lymph vessels.
Ensuring adequate water amounts is also essential for proper digestion, circulation, removal of waste from cells and delivery of nutrients to them. Body fluids constantly remove cellular toxins. They need water to perform this duty well. Lack of water is like washing a car with a bucket of water: you can do the job, but the results will be more than substandard.
Our body is a complex machine and deserves proper and timely maintenance. A person should have light-colored, but not completely clear urine, without odor. This is a sign that he/she gets proper hydration.
High water turnover, which is replacement of body water lost in a given period of time, is an indication of health, and is higher in young children and those who lead an active lifestyle.
Drink not because you are parched, but because you want to function optimally!
Is Thirst a Reliable Indicator of Dehydration?
Yes and no. If you are thirsty, in most cases it means your body needs water. However, absence of thirst does not always mean the opposite. According to research in 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger, and over 75% of the American population is dehydrated. A person may lose up to 1% of body mass or more due to dehydration, before the unpleasant symptoms manifest.
What weakens the thirst mechanism?
- The symptoms of dehydration (i.e. feeling weak, dizzy and cranky) mimic those of hunger and may contribute to people’s confusion between the two signals. This is the most common cause. Can required daily water intake be satisfied with moisture from foods? Partial rehydration can occur with water-dense raw foods (apples, etc.) but not so with processed food (plus you may gain weight if you eat, when you mistake your body’s signal for thirst, as hunger). However, getting water from food alone does not provide the sufficient volume of fluid for optimum health, requires a lot of energy for the body, and may prevent us from noticing we need water.
- Weak stomach muscles: When a person with weak stomach muscles drinks water, his/her stomach expands more in comparison to volume. This gives a weak sensory input to the brain, which perceives that have drunk more than you actually did. Due to this cause older people sometimes may reach dangerous levels of dehydration without noticing.
- Stress or high focus on work: When a person is “diving” into a thinking process, it is easy to forget to drink and eat, to take care of your body’s needs overall. This will soon manifest in dehydration symptoms and loss of productivity. Although no noticeable side-effects may occur in the short term, a constant habit of dehydration may eventually lead to chronic health conditions such as kidney stones and constipation.
- If a person is used to drinking like a camel, it is hard for the body to tell him/her that it is thirsty. Just as it is difficult for the body to tell what nutrients it needs to a person who got used to eating junk food, it is challenging to for our organism to notify us we are thirsty after years of not being paid attention to. You need to develop a habit by practicing it. Then you’ll feel when your body wants to drink, when and what to eat.
- Drinking many drinks high in sugar and stimulants, such as soda, coffee, black tea and commercially produced juices. Such drinks provide some liquid yet are highly diuretic, and many of them contribute to weight gain and other unhealthy symptoms.
- Quality of water. When the quality of water is superior, like of a mountain spring or quality well water, a person will naturally drink with pleasure. If you ever taste such water, you remember wanting to have more. For most of us, we do not have access to such water. One of the solutions is to flavor the water we drink with small amounts of pleasant natural non-sweet juices, such as lemon, grapefruit or unsweetened cranberry juice, as well as to drink some of it as herbal teas with a bit of honey and lemon. Occasional fresh-squeezed juices and home-made fresh juice freezes are also an excellent source of water, even though they cannot be consumed in quantity, due to high sugar content. Melons contain highly structured and easy to assimilate water and can be used, when extra hydration is needed. The only caution is that melons are high on hypoglycemic index, and those with hypoglycemia or diabetes/pre-diabetic should take caution.
- Drinking water low in minerals, such as distilled, over a prolonged period of time also may lead to leaching of minerals and therefore to decreased thirst.
So Now How Much Water Should a Person Drink?
Water needs differ depending on body metabolism, air humidity and temperature, body size, gender and physical activity. Certain health conditions such as Diabetes and renal insufficiency, as well as diuretic drugs will increase water requirements.
According to widely accepted European standards, it is recommended to drink minimum 8 cups for women and 10 cups for men. This includes all beverages consumed throughout the day and does not include food. This number is based on moderate physical activity.
According to US government report, the daily water amount should be slightly higher 2.7 l (11 cups) for women and 3.0 l (12 cups) for men. Maybe this is due to the fact that if a person consumes a lot of junk foods and foods high in sodium, his/her body will need more water to eliminate the toxins released by those foods in the process of digestion. And a typical American diet contains plenty of processed foods.
It is a good rule of thumb to drink min 1 oz of water for each 2 lbs of healthy weight. So if you are 140 lbs, you need to drink min 75 oz water, or slightly over 9 cups. If you are 200 lbs, then the number will be 10 oz, or 12.5 cups.
Please remember that the amount of water may differ depending on your situation.
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Fatigue and sluggishness. #1 cause of daytime fatigue is a lack of water.
- Thirst, dry mouth, swollen tongue, headaches, dizziness, weakness.
- Confusion, decrease of effectiveness of brain function.
According to research mentioned earlier in this article (Water Loss through Activity, Heat and Natural Environment), only 90 minutes of steady sweating has shrunk the brain, making it move further from the skull – as much as a year of ageing. Even though rehydration brought back the brain to its normal size, consider how it may be affected long term, never mind the 14% short term decrease in cognitive abilities.
- In extreme cases dehydration may lead to heart palpitations, fever and fainting.
Note: Pay attention to how your digestion and brain work, whether your skin is well hydrated and whether your urine is lightly coloured. Those will tell you if you need more water.
Re-Hydration at Fresh Start
How Much Water Do We Recommend at Fresh Start?
During your stay you’ll be drinking 3 litres (12 cups) of fluids daily. The water intake is included in the program structure and is essential for reaching the optimum health goals.
Why is Hydration an Essential Component in Our Programs?
In addition to satisfying body needs:
Firstly, because it assists in weight loss.
- Water increases metabolism and thus helps lose weight. According to two studies, drinking 500 ml (17 oz) of water can temporarily boost metabolism by up to 30%.
The graph below demonstrates how 500 ml of water increased metabolism (EE – Energy Expenditure) for up to 90 min after intake.
- Water decreases hunger and amount of consumed foods. According to research, those who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks, compared to those who didn’t. A Washington study has shown that one glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of dieters.
- Water assists with critical body functions, such as elimination of various toxins, cellular re-nourishment, and increasing available energy. The illustration using a car wash and Body Fluids Turnover paragraph explains in detail why it is so important.
- Additionally, because it lubricates joints. Drinking ample amounts of water may be very beneficial for people with various joint issues, including various forms of arthritis. One of the main causes of joint deterioration is dehydration and associated decrease in the joint fluid and cartilage damage. The second major contributing factor is a high-protein diet, or consumption of large amounts of meats. Drinking water helps lubricate joints, provides cushioning of the spinal discs, as well as assists in removal of the uric acid, a by-product of protein digestion that causes inflammation, pain, irritation and deterioration of the joint. Research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day has eased back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
What Type of Water Will I Drink at the Retreat?
We use only filtered water that has been purified in abundance by filters spread throughout the main building, and at the hotel.
Purified and Restructured Hexahedron 999 Water
Beyond being treated with chlorine and fluoride, tap water loses its healthy properties as it runs through straight pipelines. In nature the streams and rivers never run straight, which prevents staleness and allows the water to charge with sun energy. The Hexahedron Unit augments the bio-photons (biological light) and brings more life energy into the water. The restructured water provides better hydration of cells, facilitates absorption of nutrients and helps restructure our body’s cells. In addition, it tastes delicious! Enjoy it throughout your program.
Fresh Lemon Juice
You can also add to your water some organic lemon juice that is juiced regularly by our staff. It is quite interesting that lemon is one of the most alkalizing foods, in spite of its sour flavor. Since body acidity is at the root of many health issues, including weight gain, at Fresh Start we use an abundance of this freshly squeezed elixir of health. In addition, citrus juice, including lemon, very effectively cleanses blood vessels, joints, liver and kidneys.
Help yourself anytime to a cup of comforting warm tea. Our tea collection may include Camomile, Peppermint, Raspberry leaf, Fennel, Hibiscus, Rooibos, Nettle, Liver Tonic and others. And yes, herbal teas count as your water.
Why Do We Include a Glass Water Bottle in Your Package?
Plastic is toxic and leaches chemicals in water. One of the most toxic substances is environmental estrogen, chemicals that mimic our natural hormones, but instead of doing their job they play havoc with our hormonal system. Environmental estrogen is involved in many reproductive male and female abnormalities, increase risk of breast cancer and endometriosis, and has disrupted hormonal systems of wild life in many areas of the world.
Upon your arrival you’ll receive a 14-oz double-walled water bottle (glass inside and plastic outside to prevent from burning hands and to keep liquids hot), which also may be used as a tea cup, in case you want to try some of our herbal teas.
For optimum digestion, we highly suggest you do not drink with meals, as water dilutes digestive juices, and the stomach has to work extra hard to digest foods. Plus liquids leave the stomach first, along with juices. If we take lots of water when eating, the juices so important for digestion of foods, will be flushed away along with water. So it is best if you finish drinking no later than 15 min before a meal and start not earlier than 1-2 hrs after (depending on how easily digestible the food you eat is).