Water, Water, Everywhere…

…so get lots of drops to drink!

Most people know that the human body is made up of water. However, the importance of water cannot be understated.

Recent research shows that the average human body needs over 64 ounces of water a day – 3L (100 ounces) for men and 2.2L (74 ounces) for women (Ferrara, 2011). That’s a lot of water! The amount of consumption may seem overwhelming, but if you track your water intake throughout the day, it’s not that hard to stay hydrated.

One of the easiest ways to make sure you have enough water is to get a marked BPA-free water bottle. You can get them at any major retailer, and they don’t cost that much. The markings should indicate how much water you need to fill the bottle to reach your daily ounces. (Don’t want to buy a bottle? Use a whiteboard or a spreadsheet to keep track of how many 8-ounce glasses you consume in a day.)

By the way, you should NOT drink your water all at once – the goal is to get your 9 to 12 cups a day throughout the day. Drinking a lot of water in one sitting is harmful under any circumstance, and can lead to water poisoning (Ballantyne, 2007). Be sure to drink when you are thirsty, but never chug water in the hopes of keeping hydrated.

So what does water affect your digestive system? In short, everything. The rate of water absorption in the body as well as food, supplements, certain medications, and stool movement are dependent on your water intake (Picco, 2012). Therefore, giving your body its daily water intake will help its digestive system to process nutrients more efficiently, and relieve constipation.

Okay, we know that water is important. How do we fit in all of that water throughout the day? If you’re like me, you probably drink from a 16-ounce cup at mealtime rather than an 8-ounce one. So if you drink 16 ounces at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, that’s 48 ounces already! Let’s add another 16-ounce glass between breakfast and lunch, one between lunch and dinner, and one after dinner. That’s a total of 96 ounces, or 6 (16-ounce) cups of water! By spacing out your water intake, you’ll be able to keep hydrated and healthy.

And this doesn’t even include the water you’ll drink after exercising! 😀

Don’t like the thought of drinking plain water? You can always add to it. I wouldn’t recommend sugary drinks, but you could add a splash of citrus juice to your water, or even drink juice as long as it’s 100% fruit-based. Soda, energy drinks, and coffee don’t count – they’re too caloric and actually dehydrate the body when consumed in large quantities (Zeratsky, 2011). Besides, caffeine is terrible for digestive disorders.

I hope that this post was helpful for you! Feel free to leave any questions and/or comments below.

Hilary

  • PS – I am not a medical professional. This post was made for informative purpose and should not be used to supersede your doctor’s recommendations.
  • TL;DR: Water is crucial for your body, and it helps your digestive system to process its needs. Be sure to drink it every day, but not in one sitting.

References

Ballantyne, C. (2007, June 21). Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill. Scientific American. Retrieved from http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=strange-but-true-drinking-too-much-water-can-kill

Ferrara, D. (2011, April 27). Does Drinking Water Affect Food Digestion. Livestrong.com. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/429906-does-drinking-water-affect-food-digestion/

Picco, M. (2011, April 19). Water After Meals: Does it Disturb Digestion. Mayoclinic.com. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/digestion/AN01776

Zeratsky, K. (2011, August 20). Caffeine: Is it Dehydrating or Not? Mayoclinic.com. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/caffeinated-drinks/AN01661

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About tmidigestion

Living life with my inflammation avatar, "Pesky." Current mantra: I may have TMI, but it does not have me.
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