I read something crazy the other day that stuck with me and has been in my head ever since…
Do you know what the #1 nutritional deficiency in the American population is?
That’s right. The majority of the American people are walking around chronically dehydrated. This blows my mind, though it’s not really that hard to believe when you actually think about it.
First of all, the body can only produce 8% of its daily water needs on its own - the rest (that’s 92% for you math-wizards) must be ingested through foods and beverages. You heard me right, you have a DAILY requirement for WATER, did you not know this?
Here’s a simple formula to figure out how much water you should be drinking every day:
[your body weight in lbs] / 2 = the number of ounces of water you need daily.
But that’s not all. If you’re drinking diuretic beverages, you need even more water. What’s a diuretic beverage, you say? Funny you should ask, I just happen to have made up this pretty little infographic for you:
So how much extra water do you need to drink if you’re partaking in diuretics on the reg? It’s not rocket science: multiply the number of ounces of diuretic by 1.5-2 to figure out the additional number of ounces of water you need to take in. For example, If you drink an 8oz coffee, you need to consume 12-16oz of water in addition to your daily intake. Seem like a lot? Hm, maybe it’s time to consider cutting back on your 6 cups of coffee in the morning, non?
What happens if you get dehydrated? First of all, if your body’s water content drops by as little as 2%, you’ll feel fatigued (Say whaaat? You mean all those times you felt tired, you could probably fix it with a glass or two of water? Yep, that’s the truth, people). If it drops as much as 10%, you will experience even bigger issues, such as digestive, cardiovascular, immune, and musculoskeletal problems. Whoa! Pass the pitcher!
It’s pretty amazing to think that half the time we are reaching for the bottle of ibuprofen to relieve our aches and pains, we really should just be reaching for a glass of water first. (More in a future post on how anti-inflammatory meds actually do more harm than good for our long-term health!)
Aside from all of the annoying side effects of dehydration, maybe you want to know all the great things about water for our body and why it’s so important to stay properly hydrated. Say no more:
It’s pretty important stuff.
For more information on hydration and why it is so important for our health, I highly recommend the book Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D. Some crazy cool information in there… in his research, Batmanghelidj has used WATER alone to help his patients reverse conditions of asthma and allergies, eliminate aches and pains, combat premature aging and lose weight without strict dieting. In essence, water is a miracle cure-all… and nearly all of us are deficient!
Anyone else feeling thirsty all of the sudden?