The truth about water

10 Myths and Facts About Water

For something so seemingly simple and essential as drinking water, plenty of myths and misconceptions exist about possible water benefits and harms.

Learn how to separate the myths from the facts about drinking water.

1. Everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day.

Myth. Though water is the easiest and most economical fluid to keep you hydrated, the latest Institute of Medicine recommendation is that women should strive for about two liters or eight glasses a day and men should aim for three liters or 12 glasses a day of any fluid, not just water. “No one can figure out where this ‘eight glasses of water’ came from, but I believe it came from the old RDA for water that matched water requirements to calorie requirements,” notes Georgia Chavent, MS, RD, director of the Nutrition and Dietetics Program at the University of New Haven in West Haven, Conn. “The new requirement from the Institute of Medicine is much more generous and includes recommendations for total beverage consumption, not just water.”

2. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body.

Fact. Though water doesn’t necessarily neutralize toxins, the kidneys do use water to get rid of certain waste products. If you don’t drink enough water, your kidneys don’t have the amount of fluid they need to do their job properly. “If the body does not have sufficient water, then metabolic wastes will not be removed as efficiently as they should,” explains Amy Hess-Fischl, RD, CDE, of the University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center. “In essence, the body would be holding in toxins instead of expelling them, as is required for proper health.”

3. Bottled water can cause tooth decay.

Myth. Bottled water in and of itself doesn’t cause the teeth to decay, but it usually doesn’t contain any fluoride, which is added to tap water to help prevent tooth decay. “Fluoride is an important element in the mineralization of bone and teeth,” says Constance Brown-Riggs, RD, CDE, author of The African American Guide To Living Well With Diabetes and a nutritionist and certified diabetes educator in New York City. “With the increased consumption of bottled water, which is not fluoridated, there has been an increase in dental caries .”

4. Drinking water can help keep your skin moist.

Myth. While it used to be believed that staying properly hydrated led to youthful, vibrant skin, the reality is that the amount of water you drink probably has very little to do with what your skin looks like. “Unless the individual is severely dehydrated, drinking large quantities of water will not prevent dry skin,” Hess-Fischl says. “Basically, the moisture level of skin is not determined by internal factors. Instead, external factors such as skin cleansing, the environment, the number of oil glands, and the functioning of these oil-producing glands determine how dry the skin is or will become. The water that is consumed internally will not reach the epidermis .”

5. Drinking water helps you lose weight.

Fact. Drinking water won’t specifically trigger weight loss, but it can aid in the process. Water replaces other calorie-laden beverages in the diet, causing you to reduce your overall number of calories. Plus, it can make you feel fuller, so you may eat less at each meal. Water, particularly cold water, may even play a role in increasing your metabolism. “A new study seems to indicate that drinking water actually speeds up weight loss,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, owner of Tanya Zuckerbrot Nutrition, LLC, in New York City. “Researchers in Germany found that subjects of the study increased their metabolic rates by 30 percent after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water.”

6. Yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.

Myth. It can be, but not all yellow urine is cause for alarm. “Dark yellow urine may be a sign of dehydration,” says Zuckerbrot. “The kidneys filter waste products and reabsorb water and other useful substances from the blood, so they control the volume and concentration of urine output. Dehydration leads to increased urine concentration, turning your urine dark yellow. Ideally your urine should be straw yellow in color.” Other factors, though, such as taking a multivitamin, can also lead to yellow urine.

7. If you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated.

Myth. If you start to feel thirsty, then you are headed in the wrong direction and should grab a drink of water, but thirst doesn’t necessarily mean you’re dehydrated. “Thirst begins when the concentration of blood has risen by less than 2 percent, whereas most experts would define dehydration as beginning when that concentration has risen by at least 5 percent,” notes Hess-Fischl.

8. You need sports drinks, not water, to function at a high level in athletics.

Myth. Sports drinks may have fancier advertising campaigns, but water is really all you need to get the fluid necessary to participate in most athletic endeavors. “Adequate fluid, especially water, is most important for athletes of all ages as it is the single most important way the body has to transport nutrients and energy and remove heat during exercise,” says Chavent. “A sports or vitamin beverage may taste better, but is not necessary for hydration and is expensive.” Keep in mind though that people who run marathons or compete in highly strenuous activites may need to supplement their water intake with sports drinks to offset the salt they lose due to heavy sweating over long periods of time. This doesn’t apply to most people who are simply exercising to get fit at the gym, for instance.

9. It’s possible to drink too much water.

Fact. People with certain health conditions can put themselves at risk of complications if they drink too much water. “People with some heart conditions, high blood pressure, or swelling of the lower legs need to avoid excess water,” says Hess-Fischl. “If you have a history of kidney problems, especially if you have had a transplant, consult your doctor before increasing your fluid intake.” Hess-Fischl adds that you shouldn’t drink too much water while eating, as it dilutes your stomach acid and can cause digestion problems.

10. You should not reuse plastic water bottles.

Fact. Plastic water bottles can present a couple of risks to people who drink their contents and then fill them up time and again. “These bottles leach chemicals into your water after multiple uses,” Hess-Fischl explains. “The bottle, if not properly cleaned, may also harbor bacteria from your mouth.”

Water is essential to survival — use these facts to figure out if you need to increase your intake or feel reassured that you’re drinking enough.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Diet and Nutrition Center.

Slice and dice a few cucumbers, peel a tangerine and a grapefruit, toss in a few sprigs of mint, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide detox water, able to flush fat and toxins out of the body. At least, that’s what TV health personalities like Dr. Mehmet Oz and trainer Jillian Michaels have been touting. So, what makes detox water so magical?

Pretty much nothing, scientists say.

“More water makes the body’s job of flushing toxins easier,” said Cornell nutrition and chemistry professor Thomas Brenna, “but I can get that water from my tap.”

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Water does help to keep your liver and kidneys in tip-top shape. The body relies on the liver to pick up toxins from the bloodstream and convert them into water-soluable substances that can be excreted in urine. The kidneys help out, too. That’s a natural, everyday process, essential for life. Plain, old-fashioned water is a crucial ingredient to keep the system working. But adding cucumbers or mint doesn’t give the water extra power. And scientists say they don’t understand what special toxins the specialty waters are supposed to be helping you flush.

“Nobody has really explained to me what toxins they’re getting rid of,” said Dr. Donald Hensrud, a nutrition researcher at the Mayo Clinic. “People talk about it as if it’s some big compound of chemicals we need to get rid of, and I’m not sure what they’re talking about.”

That hasn’t stopped companies from selling detox pitchers and water bottles, or bloggers from touting lists like “20 Delicious Detox Waters to Cleanse Your Body and Burn Fat.” Health celebrities have jumped on the trend, too. Oz brought fitness personality Kim Lyons onto his show to whip up some fat-flushing water. Michaels, the trainer on the popular TV show “The Biggest Loser,” shares a recipe for detox water she claims can help you lose up to five pounds in a week.

The Kardashians are also on the bandwagon, with Khloe sharing her favorite detox water recipe (lemons, cucumber, mint) with her millions of Instagram followers.

Supermodel Miranda Kerr swears by another Dr. Oz-touted hydration trick — drinking warm water with lemon in the morning. Kerr has said the infused water “really helps kick up the digestion and it also cleanses the body and boosts the immune system.”

Others promoting the health benefits of detox water claim that the body absorbs all the good vitamins seeping into the water from those orange and lemon slices, without the calories that come with actually eating a piece of fruit. “Basically, it’s like making your own ‘vitamin water,’ but without the cost or hidden ingredients,” the FAQ page on infusedwaters.com reads.

But experts say it’s unclear how much benefit you’d actually get from drinking infused water.

“The calories in there are minimal, though I’m not sure the water has no calories,” Hensrud said, “and that suggests that the other substances in there provide health benefits that are probably minimal, too.”

Though they’re skeptical of the big claims, nutrition experts say detox waters aren’t harmful. And they may even have one benefit — they just may be tasty enough to get you to drink more plain, old-fashioned water.

An Explanation of Water and Your Body

Recently, I realized that I’ve been feeling pretty dehydrated no matter how much I drank, and was feeling an overall lack of energy and clear thinking. Part of this is due to it being winter. Another part is being active most nights of the week in one sport or another and sweating out my body’s water. But then part of me started thinking that why, no matter how much water I drink, am I always thirsty?

So I started researching everything about water and the body. From most of my questions, I found some answers, and other questions provided some pretty basic answers that didn’t get me anywhere.

I’ve set this up below in the form of questions with the answers I found. Hopefully at least one of these will answer something you’ve been wondering, or at least make you smarter. Feel free to astonish your friends with knowing more than them on this subject.

How long does it take to absorb water into the body?

I first started wondering how long after a drink of water does it take to enter the body’s system. I know that you should drink ’8 glasses a day’, but if you’re feeling dehydrated, how long does it really take for that first mouthfull of water to help?

Well the answer varies greatly depending on a lot of conditions. Water can literally start entering your system within seconds, but on a more localized level, starting in your mouth. Then the majority of water is absorbed in the large intestine, after being let out of the stomach.

But here is where the aforementioned ’conditions’ are in play. If you drink water on an empty stomach, it can pass through the stomach into the large intestine and enter your bloodstream within 5 minutes(especially if the water is colder, compared to warm!). But, if you’re eating while drinking the water, you may have to wait upwards of 45 minutes before the water is passed into the intestines because the stomach must digest the food first. Overall, on average, it takes from 5 minutes to a total of 120 minutes for water to fully absorb into your bloodstream from the time of drinking. The University of Montreal did a study poetically called “Pharmacokinetic analysis of absorption, distribution and disappearance of ingested water labeled with D₂O in humans.” which has graphs and timelines explaining their study if you like that kind of stuff.

So when you’re very thirsty and somewhat dehydrated, especially after something like cardio-heavy sports, drink water first then eat, or else your body will be dehydrated longer.

On a side note, not all water you drink is fully absorbed into your system, especially if you drink a lot of water. Much of it is flushed out in your urine, and some in your stool. If you want an interesting read on water’s involvement in your bowels, the University of Michigan has a Bowel Function Anatomy.

How can the body absorb more water?

So if we’re drinking enough, yet still feeling dehydrated, how can we ensure our bodies absorb more water?

Well there are two main schools of thought here.

First is to ensure you have enough salt in your body. Though over-consumption of salt isn’t good, not having enough is bad as well. People who play a lot of cardio-heavy sports, or do a lot of running, lose a lot of salt via sweat, and it needs to be gained back. Salt is used in the body to retain water in cells, along with helping get nutrients from the small intestine, and if we don’t have enough salt in the body, your cells can’t retain enough water. This causes the cells to dehydrate.

The second idea to ensure we keep enough water in the body, is to eat fibrous foods. Fiber in foods will help your body retain water in the intestines, where it is slowly absorbed. This means that instead of just passing through fast, it’ll take its time and your body can use all the water it can.

Can we absorb water in ways other than drinking?

In short, no. In a more detailed answer, kind of but not really.

There are a lot of curious people on the internet asking if water can be absorbed via the skin, like if you take a long shower or bath.

While you can absorb things like minerals, nutrients and chemicals through the skin, your epidermis is literally made to be water resistant. This means that no matter how long you stay submerged in water, you’re not really pulling in the water into your system.

But what about when you get all wrinkly in the bath? Well that has to do with the most outer layers of skin cells, the stratum corneum, which is essentially dead cells. These dead cells soak up the water, causing them to bloat and wrinkle the skin, but the water really doesn’t get anywhere past them. So your 1 hour baths can still make you thirsty.

I drink lots of water but still feel thirsty!

This happens to a lot of people. Some research groups have calculated that about 95% of North Americans are constantly dehydrated. Normally trying to drink the right amount of water every day can fix this (side note: the ‘correct’ amount of water for you is half your weight in ounces, meaning a 150lb person should drink 75 ounces per day, equal to 2.25 liters), but most people don’t drink that much.

As mentioned above, you can do a few things to keep more water in your body, but drinking the right amount constantly is the best solution.

If you follow those steps, keep yourself hydrated but still feel thirsty all the time, there could be some more serious conditions present, like onset diabetes or something called Adrenal Fatigue, which means your adrenal glands aren’t working properly. If thirst continues, even after days of drinking right, definitely see a doctor.

So what are the best ways to drink water for healthy bodies?

1) Slow and steady
Its been proven that drinking water slowly throughout the day makes you more hydrated than drinking lots fast. This makes sense as your intestines can only process so much water at a time, and if it is passed through too fast, you’ll lose out on it.

2) With additives
I’m not talking about adding koolaid or tang, but lemon. Lemon in water has well known health benefits, including aiding your digestion, hydrating your lymph system, has a load of nutrients including potassium and vitamin C, reduces inflammation and gives you an energy boost. It is a common practice to drink warm water with 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it first thing in the morning, then after about 30 minutes have your breakfast. This process is supposed to improve your energy, cleanse your system and provide a better digestion for your breakfast, which can give you energy throughout the day.

2b) A way to have great tasting, healthy water available when you’re home is to use a water pitcher with an infuser. This simple device can be kept in your fridge and infuses your water with whatever you put in it, like fruit, without having the pieces of fruit fall into your glass. For example, adding lemons and cucumber slices will give you a healthy drink that tastes great. There’s a great recipe for a healthy, anti-bloating water-infused drink from two well known nutritionists.

3) Timing
Since we now know that most water is absorbed within 120 minutes, we can assume that drinking a glass of water about 2 hours before heavy sports will give us the best benefit, as your body will be the most hydrated then.
It is also best to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, since you’ve gone for about 8 hours without a drink. And for those with a stronger bladder, drinking a glass before bed helps your body stay hydrated while you sleep. But if nightly bathroom visits are already a factor for you, take it easy before bed.

To make drinking water easier, keep it by you all day, whether at the office with a bottle that you sip from all day and can refill, or at home with a glass of water on your counter that you make yourself drink from every time you pass it. Having a bottle of water in your car is great too, especially when you’re out doing chores and can’t get a good drink in for a few hours.

We also know from above that drinking while eating isn’t a good idea, as it can slow your digestion and doesn’t help your body until your stomach finally digests all food. So take a drink 30 mins before a meal and you’ll be feeling good.

So what should I take from this?

Getting the most out of water comes down to these three parts.

First, drink enough. Know how much you should drink and make sure you do it every day.

Second, add to the water. Whether its lemons or cucumbers or a simple mint leaf for flavoring.

Third, drink at the right time. Know that a glass of water 30 mins before a meal will help more than a glass during!

Hydrate for Health: Cleanse Your System and Enhance Elimination

Did you know the human brain is made up of 85 percent water, and our blood consists of nearly 80 percent water?

It’s no wonder that water is so critical to health. What’s more, water is also a natural cleansing agent. Drinking water is a great way to support the body’s internal, natural detoxification system, as well as enhance effective elimination.

Unfortunately, a study released in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that nearly half of all Americans don’t drink enough water. As a result, they can become partially or fully dehydrated.

Partial dehydration can cause problems like fatigue, fuzzy thinking, dry mouth, and even weight gain. And chronic dehydration can increase the risk of many illnesses. When the body doesn’t have enough water, for example, the blood becomes thicker, which can increase the risk of heart problems. Not drinking enough water can also worsen diges- tive issues such as constipation, and increase the risk of bladder and colon cancer.

Cellular energy production, detoxification, and other metabolic processes are dependent upon water. This all makes sense because, on average, our bodies are made up of 75 percent water. Our skin, bones, muscles, blood, and immune system require water to function properly. Even our teeth are made up of about 10 percent water. That, plus all of the water contained in saliva, is why dehydration can increase risk of cavities and tooth decay. The key is to stay hydrated long before you get thirsty—because by the time you feel parched, you’re already dehydrated.

How much water and how often?

To ensure you can keep dehydration at bay and support proper ongoing detoxification, drink water throughout your day rather than just a couple of times a day. This keeps your cells, tissues, and organs consistently hydrated. Keep in mind, though, that you may want to limit your water intake during the last few hours of your day so you don’t have to wake up to urinate during the night.

Here is how to calculate how much water you should be drinking each day:

Your weight divided in half = total ounces per a day

So, a 128-pound person needs to drink 64 ounces, or eight 8-ounces glasses of water each day. If you weigh 170 pounds, you’ll need 10 and a half glasses a day. And if you’re highly active, you should drink extra water during and after exercise.

How do you know if you’re hydrated? Check for the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Foggy Memory
  • Irritability
  • Joint Pain
  • Mood Swings
  • Weakened Immunity

Even mild dehydration can be problematic, so it’s important to continually replenish those water stores.

Does the container matter?

Almost as important as the quantity of water is the quality of the water you choose. Whenever possible, drink pure, filtered water. The container you drink from is also important. We recommend these containers because they’re free of toxic chemicals:

  • Glass
  • Waxed paper cup
  • Ceramic
  • Stainless Steel

Whenever possible, avoid drinking out of:

  • Plastic containers unless they are BPA-free (keep in mind that all plastic water bottles can contain other harmful chemicals and be environmentally unfriendly)
  • Styrofoam cups, as they contain hazardous chemicals and are environmentally unfriendly

No matter which nontoxic container you choose, it’s a good idea to keep it filled throughout the day. That way, you’ll always remember it’s time to drink more water!

Beating drug tests is easier than ridding your body of THC substances due to smoking or ingesting marijuana products. Although abstinence is the best way to prevent them from remaining in the body, users need to flush weed out to comply with work-related routine checkups.

© Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images A man checks a marijuana plants during a police raid on 3 hectares of marijuana plantation in Montasik, Aceh province on March 6, 2019. Here are five natural tricks to flush weed out of your system.

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol carboxylic acid (THC) is an inactive chemical in the body. Ingesting and consuming cannabis products result in increased THC levels in your blood. Regular use not only accumulates THC in the body but also increases metabolites in the body’s fat tissues, according to Leafly.

Drug Test Methods

The most common methods in detecting THC and marijuana-related content in the body use urine, blood, hair follicle and saliva. Urine tests show the metabolites months after they are consumed, but they do not detect THC levels. On the other hand, blood tests detect THC levels. They are, however, undetectable eight hours after an occasional use but last for several days for regular users.

Hair follicle tests are more expensive and are requested for jobs that require special clearance. Such tests typically examine hair residue and could detect marijuana consumption by one-time users. Meanwhile, saliva tests are less reliable and often overlooked in the U.S., as pointed out by Key to Cannabis.

For those who want to pass any of the drug test methods, below are five natural tricks you can do to flush weed out of your system:

Exercise

When higher THC levels and metabolites are stored in your body fat, you can remove them easily by diffusion. Physical exercise also releases dormant THC from stored fat and hastens the process of eliminating marijuana from your body.

Healthy Diet

Avoiding salty, sweet and fatty foods is another method to flush weed out of your system. These slow down your metabolism and prolong the excretion of THC and metabolites from your body.

Detox Products

Detox is a process that flushes toxins out of the body. The same principle can be applied to cannabis and related substances. Hence, they can be removed from the body by drinking lemon, mint and watermelon drinks. There are also detox kits that flush out weed from your system. They are sold as herbal capsules and powder supplements. But remember, the detox process usually takes up to 14 days to complete.

Abstinence

The most effective way to remove marijuana from your system is abstinence. The body has natural detoxifying abilities. Therefore, the body can just flush out cannabis in the long run. To ensure this, one should abstain from using or smoking weed because it just defeats the purpose of relying on the body’s natural filtering capacity to get rid of its metabolites.

Drinking Water

Drinking more than eight glasses helps with the natural detox process. You can flush weed out by drinking large amounts of water since this helps in expelling toxins from the body. The idea behind this is simply replacing toxic bodily fluids with a cleaner solution.

Related Video: Community College to Offer Courses in Medical Marijuana (Provided by WGN-TV Chicago)

Top 10 Ways To Cleanse Your Body with Water

by Andrew Ciccone April 12, 2017

So what is a detox or cleanse?

It’s a way of eating (and living!) cleanly, to minimize the amount of chemicals and pollutants in our systems. The emphasis is on high-nutrient foods that help draw out and eliminate toxins. It’s important to make sure we avoid as many environmental factors as possible as well as detoxing from the unknown number toxins we are exposed to.

Follow these easy ways to help you feel healthier than ever!

One. Detox – Detoxing your body is an effective way to clear your system of toxins. This will aid in speeding up your metabolism and enhance your overall body health. Eliminate or decrease the amount of sugar you consume, that includes honey, molasses, and artificial sweeteners.

Two. Hydrate – Start out each day drink a tall glass of water with juice from half of a lemon first thing in the morning. Lemon helps re-hydrate the system and helps improve digestion, supports liver detoxification and reduce bloating. The lemon juice activates your liver to release toxins and helps cleanse the intestines. Drink lots of water ( 2 to 3 liters per day ). Avoid drinking at mealtimes, so you don’t dilute your digestive juices.

Three. Exercise – Regular exercise encourages circulation in the blood and lymph system. Routine exercise will enhance digestion, reduce tension, lubricate joints, and strengthen your body. People who exercise regularly have far fewer total toxins in their systems.

Four. Drink Tea – Tea full of antioxidants, it hydrates you (especially if it’s herbal) and fills you up. The caffeine in tea is different than the caffeine in coffee—it’s gentler on your system. Drink some dandelion tea in the evenings to help you relax from the day. Dandelions contain many B vitamins that will continue to help support methylation and also help the body flush out toxins.

Five. Eat Lots of Fruits & Vegetables – A variety of fruits and veggies along with whole grains, beans and legumes, and small amounts of nuts and seeds is good for your diet. Eat whole plant foods because processed foods lack the nutrients your body needs. Leafy greens ( kale, celery, bok choy, silverbeet, baby spinach ) are are alkalizing. An alkaline body is better at battling bad bacteria, yeast and helps keeping cravings at bay. Green leafy veggies also contain chlorella which helps to cleanse and increase the oxygen in your blood, improving your cellular health.

Get additional help with detoxing by including blueberries to your diet. These berries will satiate your sweet tooth and help flush out any toxins in your body. Bake with them, put them in smoothies, or just eat them by the handful for maximum benefit!

Six. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 – Eat foods with fats and oils that are high in Omega-3. Omega-3 helps reduce inflammation and ease digestion. Eat avocado, flax seed oil, hemp oil and extra virgin olive oil. These oils are unstable at high heats, so make sure you don’t undo your detoxifying benefits by submitting them to high temperatures! Keep hemp and flax seed oils in the fridge, and get them into your diet by pouring over salads.

Alkaline water pitchers are an easy way to get the benefits of alkaline water for the fraction of the cost.

Seven. Sweat it Out – Use a sauna regularly. There’s nothing more detoxing than sweating out your body’s toxins. A quarter of our body’s toxins are eliminated through the skin, and sweating it out in the sauna aids that elimination process. Plus the process of the hot, cold, warm cycle helps slow my mind, giving me a bit of a mental detox.

Infrared saunas have been shown to reduce inflammation, which can be a hindrance to proper detoxing. And they also help promote relaxation and reduce stress!

Eight. Exfoliate – Skin brushing and oil massages will help exfoliate the toxins from your skin and refresh circulation.

Nine. Flush your Nasal Passages – Pollution and allergens in the air and can trigger allergy symptoms (such as yucky, puffy, red eyes). Flush your nasal passages regularly with a Neti Pot. Doing so can eliminate the side effects of air pollutants and lead to better breathing naturally. If you use the Neti Pot before bed, even better—it will enhance your sleep.

Purify the air you breathe by bringing some fresh plants inside your house and workspace. Spider plants, dracaena, garden mum, and peace lilies are nature’s air purifiers.

Ten. Garlic – Add garlic to every recipe. Garlic has special detoxing properties especially beneficial if you have high levels of heavy metal toxicity in your body.

The body is amazingly strong and resilient. Make a commitment to eliminate toxins from your diet everyday.

Andrew Ciccone

Author

Andrew Ciccone, VP Branding & Media Strategy – Andrew’s long strange marketing trip began after graduating from Syracuse University with a BS in Marketing. Andrew then developed his marketing prowess when he moved to Madison Avenue big boys Young & Rubicam, Backer Spielvogel, and Grey Advertising. He went on to get a Masters in Corporate Communications from Baruch College, then went on to start his own agency in 2011 – Hudson Valley Public Relations. Andrew has earned a reputation for creative, smart, innovative campaigns that get results. Andrew’s spare time is devoted to sailing regattas, family fun and film. To date he has penned four screenplays.

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How Much Water Should You Drink During Detox?

September 20, 2017 serenitydetox QARecovery

One underrated danger of detox is dehydration. If you have been drinking heavily or just generally neglecting your health, you may enter detox already dehydrated. This is especially bad because detoxing can cause nausea and vomiting, making it difficult to drink enough water to rehydrate.

Dehydration isn’t a minor issue. Even if you aren’t going through withdrawal, dehydration can cause headaches, confusion, and nausea. If you are going through withdrawal, dehydration can make your symptoms much worse.

Not only does dehydration make your symptoms worse, but your symptoms can also make your dehydration worse. Vomiting, fever, sweating, and diarrhea, all common withdrawal symptoms, are among the most common causes of dehydration.

Dehydration and withdrawal can create a downward cycle. That is why detox clinics typically administer I.V. fluids and electrolytes right away. Dehydration is one of the easiest detox problems to fix but it can also make the whole process worse if left untreated.

Adequate hydration is necessary for the detox process itself. Your body basically has three ways of getting rid of toxins: through the digestive system, through the urinary tract, and through the skin. Dehydration slows all these down. When your body is trying to get rid of toxins, you want to give it as much help as possible, which means giving it plenty of water to flush out the gunk.

How much water you need mainly depends on two factors. The first factor is how big you are. Bigger bodies need more water. As a rough estimate, men should drink about a gallon and women should drink about three quarts. The second factor is how bad your symptoms are. If you lose a lot of water through sweating, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea, then you have to make up for that loss by drinking more.

When in doubt, drink more water. Unless you are running a marathon in July while detoxing, the consequences of overhydration are minimal compared to the consequences of underhydration. Even if you don’t feel very thirsty, if you can drink a little water then you should. You may end up drinking a lot more water than you are used to but detox requires more water than your body typically uses.

This mainly applies if you are detoxing at home. If you are detoxing in a clinic, the staff is aware how important hydration is and in addition to I.V. fluids, they will periodically remind you to keep drinking water.

The Serenity Recovery Center at Encino Medical Hospital is offering your loved ones a new way to begin their journey of recovery. Excellent clinical care, medical management, and the highest levels of comfort are our priority at Serenity. Call us today for information: 866.294.9401

When considering doing a detox water cleanse, there are a lot of things to think about. Many people look into what ingredients to use and which one to mix together. They might also consider how long they should carry out the cleanse, and what type of physical activity should accompany it for optimum results.

However, one of the most obvious questions about a detox water diet is also one that many people forget to ask: how much detox water should I drink in a day?

This can be a surprisingly tough question to answer and can depend on a number of different factors and considerations. These can include the lifestyle of the individual doing the detox water diet and the detox water ingredients.

Nevertheless, keeping hydrated and getting in sufficient nutrients is key to a healthy lifestyle. (1,2) Below, we lay out a comprehensive guide on just how much detox water you should be drinking to get the most benefit out of your detox water cleanse.

We also look at when you should lower or limit your intake of detox water, and when it might be necessary to take a break from the detox.

Recommended Intake of Detox Water

As mentioned above, it’s impossible to give a single recommendation when looking at how much detox water you should take in each day due to do activity levels, formulas, and preferences. However, for each group of people, a general guideline can be given.

Sedentary adults

For sedentary adults, a lower amount of both nutrients and water intake is needed when compared to more active individuals like athletes. However, this doesn’t mean that a low intake of water or nutrients is good for you.

In fact, nearly all of the recommended daily amounts of the different nutrients you take in each day are based on a relatively sedentary person. (3) So, you should still take care to get in enough detox water each day.

For most sedentary adults, this means taking in roughly 6-8 glasses of detox water each day. Also, the detox water ingredients included in each of the waters should be varied to ensure you’re getting in plenty of nutrients.

Active Individuals

One other issue with general recommendations is that they’re usually divided into two criteria: sedentary people who don’t exercise at all, and high level athletes who can train at high intensities up to twice daily. (4)

This means that those who are only recreationally active, exercising two to three times per week, are often recommended too high of an intake of different nutrients and water.

For those who are active and exercise moderately, they should look at taking in 8-12 glasses of detox water each day. Just like with sedentary people, they should also look at carrying their detox water recipes for a holistic detox water cleanse.

Athletes

Recommendations for athletes are usually part of a different realm compared to that of sedentary, or even moderately active, individuals.

This is because athletes are not always exercising to improve their health, and are usually training to become better at a given skill or activity. So, when making recommendations for athletes, the idea is to help boost performance, speed up recovery, or prevent injury. (5)

This means that the recommendations are highly context-specific, and can change depending on the sport or activity the athlete is training for, or even what part of training camp they’re currently in.

In general, long-distance endurance athletes, such as marathon runners or long distance cyclists or swimmers will need a greater amount of detox water due to increased sweating and nutrient use than strength or power athletes like weightlifters and sprinters. (6)

Mixed athletes, like soccer players or boxers, will be in-between these two groups in terms of recommendations.

Endurance athletes should aim for around 12-15 glasses of detox water each day. Meanwhile, strength and power athletes should look at taking in roughly the same as moderately active people at 10-12 glasses each day.

Mixed athletes can fall between these two recommendations as they feel necessary.

Should You Drink Detox Water Even If You Don’t Sweat?

Yes.

As seen from above, even those who do no physical activity are recommended to take in plenty of water and a range of other nutrients. This is because the body uses water in a wide range of bodily functions, not just sweating to cool the body.

Physical activity of any kind also causes them to speed up or increase many of these processes, thereby increasing the need for water and nutrient intake. So, even if you’re not sweating, drinking detox water can have beneficial effects on your health and fitness.

When To Limit Detox Water

However, as mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are times where you are better off reducing your detox water intake. These are each looked at below.

When Ingredients Include Caffeine

One such case is when your detox recipes contain a significant amount of caffeine, such as with some detox tea recipes.

The reason for this reduction is that excessive caffeine consumption can cause a few issues, including trouble sleeping, increased anxiety and even a higher blood pressure and heart rate. (7)

So, if you’re mixing a lot of tea in with your detox water ingredients, you may want to reduce your intake of detox water, or just reduce the ones in high in caffeine.

2-4 Hours Before Bed

While increasing water intake overall can be beneficial, taking in too much water before bed can cause sleep disturbance through increasing trips to the bathroom throughout the night. (8)

As a general rule, start decreasing your detox water intake 3 to 4 hours before bed and cut it out completely 2 hours before you want to go to sleep.

Conclusion

How much detox water to take in each day is a question that many people overlook when considering a detox water cleanse. However, matching your water and nutrient intake to your lifestyle and detox diet is essential to maximize its benefits and minimize any detrimental effects.

In general, athletes and moderately active people should take in more detox water than sedentary adults.

However, the amount drank each day should be minimized if your detox water recipes have a high caffeine content. You should also taper down this intake a few hours before bed to ensure that it won’t interfere with your sleep duration or sleep quality.

P.S. Have you tried my free 24 Hour Detox Ginger Detox Cleanse yet? (no sign up required)

This Is How Much Water You Need to Drink for Weight Loss

Losing weight requires a consistent commitment to several lifestyle choices: Eat healthier, exercise more, get 6-8 hours of sleep a night, and drink lots of water. Not only will choosing water over caloric and sugary beverages save you calories, but water is also essential for sharp brain function, keeping your organs working properly, and exercise recovery — to name a few important reasons. And if you’re reaching for detox water, it can help boost your metabolism and flush out toxins.

But just hearing that you need to drink “lots” of water can be confusing. For some people that could be the standard eight 8-ounce glasses, but others could need a lot more (or perhaps less). We tapped dietitian Jim White, RD, ACSM, and owner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios, to find out just exactly how much water you should be drinking for weight loss.

For the average person:

Although everyone has different needs, White says sticking to the oft-recommended amount of eight 8-ounce glasses (64 ounces total) should suffice and can help boost weight loss for the average person or someone just looking to drop a few pounds.

It doesn’t sound like an overwhelming number, but the challenge for most people is drinking enough water in the first place. According to a study by the CDC, 43 percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day, with 7 percent reporting they don’t drink any glasses of water—yikes!

In general, you should let your thirst be your guide. If you’re still thirsty after chugging 64 ounces throughout the day, make sure you adjust your intake accordingly. But if you’re feeling quenched, be sure not to overdo it; drinking too much water could lead to hyponatremia, also known as water intoxication, where the sodium levels in the body become overly diluted and can lead to swelling in the brain, seizures, and coma. There’s a reason this dangerous practice is one of the ways you’re drinking water wrong.

If you’re working out a lot:

If you’re a big-time gym rat or endurance athlete, you’ll need more water than the standard 64 ounces. After a serious sweat sesh, you could be depleting your body of proper hydration.

“The American College of Sports Medicine recommends to drink 16 ounces of extra water before you exercise, and to sip on 4-8 ounces during exercise, and another 16 ounces after exercise,” White explains. “You can also weigh yourself before exercise and see how many pounds you lose. Drink 16 ounces afterward for every pound lost.”

RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.

If you’re more overweight:

For overweight or obese people, their water needs are different. White says they’ll need to drink even more water to stay properly hydrated and aid in weight loss. A simple math equation for this is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 180 pounds, you should aim for 90 ounces of water a day.

A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that people with higher BMIs were the least hydrated. The study suggested that water is an essential nutrient and may play as big of a role in weight loss as food and exercise. Virginia Tech researchers found that overweight adults who drank 16 ounces of water a half an hour before their meals lost three more pounds than those who didn’t, and 9 pounds at the end of 12 weeks.

Replacing caloric and sugary beverages such as soda, fruit juice, and sweetened iced teas with water can also help boost weight loss, White says.

Bottom Line: Shoot for 64 ounces of water.

Although everyone has their own individual hydration needs, shooting for 64 ounces is a good place to start. Let your thirst be your guide; if you’re still parched after 8 glasses, feel free to drink more (just don’t go overboard).

Another indicator for if you’ve had enough water is the color of your urine: A pale yellow or almost clear color means you are properly hydrated. Anything darker than a pale yellow, and you need to drink more H2O.

“Remember the signs of dehydration: Thirst, dry mouth, headaches, and in extreme cases dizziness and feeling lethargic,” White explains. “Just a 2 percent dehydration in the body can negatively impact athletic performance.”

There are other factors that could impact just how much water you should be drinking: Sweating more, being outside in the heat, taking certain medications, or drinking alcohol. White recommends to drink one 8-ounce glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you consume, and get plenty of hydrating foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, and celery.

Regardless, a weight-loss program should include around 64 ounces of water — more if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose or your program involves a lot of working out. So grab a reusable, BPA-free water bottle, keep refilling it, and sip your way slim.

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Proponents of water cleanse methods and products say they flush toxins out of your system, but no scientific evidence supports the claims. However, experts recommend drinking plenty of water daily to maintain optimal hydration and health.

Tip

Authorities advise consuming 11.5 cups of fluid per day for women and 15.5 cups of fluid per day for men from beverages and food.

No Need for Water Cleanse

A host of cleanse methods, including water detox, are found on the market and the internet. They are popular among the natural health community, but the traditional medical community believes they aren’t needed.

Science-Based Medicine, which presents the opinions of traditional health practitioners, asserts that the body has an amazingly complex system of detoxification. This involves the skin, liver, gastrointestinal system, kidneys and lymphatic system,

None of the premises underlying the cleanse claims have merit, adds SBM. While detox proponents contend that the liver and kidneys act like filters that require periodic cleansing, this isn’t the case. The liver is self-cleansing unless you have liver disease, so it doesn’t accumulate toxins. Likewise, unless the kidneys have a disorder, they excrete waste products into the urine.

Science doesn’t back up the promises that detox removes toxins. Flushing your body with water beyond the recommended intake won’t produce cleansing.

Read more: Lemon Water Detox Diet

How Much Is Enough?

Although you’ve undoubtedly heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water per day, some people may need more and others may need less. Women should aim to get 11.5 cups, or 2.7 liters, of water per day from beverages and food, and men should get 15.5 cups, or 3.7 liters, of water per day, states the Mayo Clinic.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says, as a general rule, children and teenagers should drink six to eight glasses of water per day. They should also eat the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables because they have a high water content. For example, spinach and watermelon are nearly 100 percent water by weight, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Roughly 80 percent of a person’s water intake comes from water and other beverages, while 20 percent comes from food sources. Beverages like coffee, milk and soda are composed mostly of water; however, water is a low-calorie, healthy choice. Sugary beverages lead to weight gain and inflammation, and too much caffeine can make you nervous and affect your sleep, states Harvard.

Certain factors can increase the need for water. Since you lose more water through perspiration during exercise, drink before, during and after a workout, recommends the Mayo Clinic. Hot, humid weather or living at a high altitude will increase the need for water.

Certain health conditions, such as fever, vomiting, urinary tract stones and bladder infections, necessitate more fluid intake. Higher water consumption is also needed when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

Drinking Too Much Water

Drinking too little water is much more common than drinking too much, but drinking too much can occur, notes the Mayo Clinic. People with a kidney disorder that hinders the excretion of water can experience hyponatremia, which is a lack of sodium due to diluted blood. This is a serious condition that is life-threatening.

Rarely, hyponatremia can happen in athletes that have drunk fluids copiously and lost much salt through perspiration, says the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. In these cases, the condition can also be fatal.

Harvard Health explains that the recommended water intake might be too much for people on medications that cause water retention. Medicines in this category include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, some antidepressants and opiate pain pills.

Signs of Dehydration

Drinking enough fluids will prevent the harmful effects of dehydration. Signs of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst; dry mouth; muscle cramps; headaches; little urination; dark yellow urine; and cool, dry skin, notes MedlinePlus.

Symptoms of severe dehydration are dry, shriveled skin; rapid heartbeat; dizziness; lightheadedness; confusion; rapid breathing; listlessness; and sunken eyes. The condition can also lead to shock and unconsciousness.

Read more: 8 Hydration Mistakes You’re Making and How to Fix Them

Treatment of dehydration involves sipping or drinking water or sports drinks that contain electrolytes, states MedlinePlus. No one who is dehydrated should take salt tablets because they can cause serious adverse effects.

Severe dehydration or a heat-related illness requires hospitalization. Such cases are medical emergencies that necessitate receiving fluids through a vein. Untreated dehydration can result in seizures, permanent brain damage and death, warns MedlinePlus.

If dehydration is treated quickly, the individual should recover without complications. In light of the dangers, unless the symptoms are mild, seek immediate medical attention.

Why Drink Enough Water?

Optimal health depends, in part, on drinking enough water. This is very important because water makes up more than two-thirds of your body weight, reports MedlinePlus. Every cell and organ in the body needs this dietary element that’s essential for life.

Water has multiple functions, says Harvard Health. These include preventing constipation, aiding digestion and flushing bacteria from the bladder, as well as cushioning joints, stabilizing heartbeat and normalizing blood pressure. Water also regulates electrolytes, maintains body temperature, protects tissues and carries oxygen and nutrients to the cells.

You continuously lose water through perspiration, breathing, urination and having bowel movements, so you need to replenish your supply by drinking enough fluids and eating water-containing foods, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Water and Drug Tests

Some people who abuse drugs may try to flush the agents out of their system by drinking a gallon of water before a drug test. The American Addiction Centers reports that this method is often unsuccessful because the effort to dilute a urine sample is usually obvious to the tester.

Drinking approximately 1 liter of water will significantly dilute a urine sample if consumed 30 minutes to 1 hour before a drug test, notes the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Anyone who engages in this practice will likely be asked to retest. Measuring a urine component called creatine will show if the urine is too dilute to provide an accurate drug level.

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