Spring is finally here, however, in Toronto there is still snow everywhere and there is no sign of flowers blooming in sight. March 22nd marks world water day. This is why I decided to write this post hoping for snow to melt in Toronto.
Water is part of Canadian identity. In Ontario, many of us spend long weekends by lakes and rivers. As Canadians we pride ourselves for owning 20 percent of world’s fresh water. However, I see many patients in my practice who don’t drink water at all. There is always this myth that tea and coffee counts as water. How about “drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day?”
HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED REALLY EVERY DAY?
This is a simple question with no easy answer. Quick review of research studies shows different recommendations. There is no single formula to calculate water requirements. Your water need depends on many factors such as: your level of activity, your weight, where you live, your health status, etc.
Let’s start with “8 by 8” rule. Everyone needs eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. I believe this rule is good because it is easy to remember. However, this rule is based on the assumption that you weigh about 150 lbs, you exercise about 20-30 minutes a day and you live in a normal cool environment.
To answer the above question, you have to become a keen observer. Everyday you lose water through urine, bowel movements, breath and perspiration. If your urine is white or slightly yellow it is a good sign that you are hydrated. If you are constipated and it is hard to pass stool, you need more water. If it is a hot summer day or if you are hitting the gym, remember to take that extra bottle of water with you.
Also, remember that by water intake I don’t mean plain water. Any foods or beverages that contain water can be count towards your daily water consumption. Many experts believe coffee and tea dehydrate you by 1-2 glasses. However, I always say, don’t make things complicated. Just ignore your coffee and tea and do not count them towards your daily need.
According to Mayo clinic, the United States institute of medicine recommends 3 litres of beverages for men and 2.2 litres of beverages for women.
I always say:
drink when you are thirsty and look for the signs of dehydration.
Picture taken from: http://www.hunterwater.com.au
Author resumes no liability for incorrect information or any action reader decides to take based on the information on this blog post. This blog post is only author’s personal input on the topic and by no means entails any medical advice.