Water – Are you Dehydrated?

We made it over the hump.  Our first week of The Community Cleanse is complete.  Congratulations!  I know others are joining this week – so welcome!

Over the holidays, we travelled to Niagara Falls, Canada.  Our good friend Marc took us through the underground tunnels to see the falls up close.  Really close, so close we trembled with the loud, heavy vibration of the water plummeting over the falls and crashing into the pools below.  This got me thinking about the power of water.  Cleansing can’t be successful without lots of water. 

In fact, the human body is about seventy percent water.  Water is needed for proper digestion, transportation, absorption of all nutrients and all chemical reactions.  Water helps the kidneys to flush toxins out of the body.  Water also helps to speed up fat loss (weight loss).    

We lose anywhere from two to four cups of water every day by simply breathing.  We lose about another six cups to the toilet in urine and bowel movements.  About two additional cups are lost through normal perspiration (not related to exercise).  The math on this shakes out to be between ten and twelve cups of water lost every day by simply being. 

Those of us who exercise will lose an average of two cups.  Of course water intake needs to be increased in hot or humid weather.  Heated, indoor air can also suck out body moisture.  I notice this in cold climates when the heat is turned up high and my hands start to crack – hate that.   

Effects of dehydration can be felt when fluid loss is greater than one percent of body weight.  Many of us suffer the effects of mild dehydration.  Symptoms include:

  • Dry skin, wrinkles
  • Dizziness, headaches, feeling light-headed
  • Low energy, fatigue and depression
  • Constipation and IBS
  • Dry mouth, excessive thirst
  • Muscle cramping, sore joints, swollen feet and hands
  • Dark urine, little urination

We’re all different so it’s difficult to stamp the same “X amount of water required” on our foreheads.  But it’s interesting to note that seventy-five percent of us are chronically dehydrated.  Chronically, so that means most of us don’t get enough water to adequately nourish and support the daily functions of our bodies.         

We absorb about 20% of our required fluid intake from food.  The Institute of Medicine recommends men intake an additional thirteen cups of water/liquid per day (over three litres) and women drink an additional nine cups (more than two litres).  Pregnant women need an extra ten cups and breastfeeding women require thirteen.  We absorb some water from other beverages like herbal teas, fruit and vegetable juices.  Caffeine and alcohol can be dehydrating (requiring more water) and some juices and milk need water to be processed by the body.    

While cleansing and because I exercise, I drink even more water to help my body release toxins: 

  • A glass of water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, first thing in the morning, to help detoxify my liver. 
  • At least two herbal teas per day (dandelion root and milk thistle – again to help detoxify my kidneys and liver).
  • A glass with fresh squeezed lemon before dinner (more detoxifying). 
  • About another nine cups of activated carbon filtered, or reversed osmosis, water per day. 

Might sound like a lot, but I feel great and hydrated.  One might say I’m drinking my fair share of Niagara Falls, are you?  Cheers to the healing power of water!

Happy cleansing community cleansers!


Prescriptions for Nutritional Healing; Balch, James M.D. and Phyllis C.N.C; Avery Publishing Group; New York; 1997




One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Rachel Adams on January 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I always have SUCH a hard time drinking my recquired amount of water. I remember working with you and you refilled that huge smart water bottle about 3 times a day! I am now entering the world of bikram yoga….let me tell you water, lots of water… is essential!

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