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How Much Water Should You Drink?

Everyone knows that we need water to survive. In fact, our bodies are made up of around 60% water.

But yet despite us all knowing how important drinking water is, many people still don’t know exactly how much they should be consuming on a daily basis.

The fact is, we are constantly losing water from our bodies through sweat and urine. This needs to be replaced.

Getting the right amount of water also offers a number of scientifically proven health benefits, from bringing oxygen and nutrients to cells, regulating body temperature and boosting metabolism.

The general school of thought when it comes to how much water is an optimal amount to drink daily settles on around 2 liters. However, there are some scientists that think we are continuously nearing dehydration and therefore should be constantly drinking water even when we don’t feel thirsty.

The truth is, like most things in life, how much water each person needs daily is a personal trait that depends on a number of factors. Around eight glasses a day is a rough guide, although some will need more, some less.

But why should we drink so much and what kind of water is best to drink? How much water should you drink? Let’s find out.

Water Could Improve Brain Function and Give you More Energy

Research suggests that the amount of water we drink could affect our concentration, mood and energy levels.

One study found that women who lost 1.36% of fluid after exercising noticed a negative effect on their mood and their ability to concentrate, as well as increasing headaches (source)

Further studies show that dehydration levels as low as 2% cause impaired brain function (source).

Even 1% reduction in body weight due to loss of water is fairly significant, but can easily happen during intense exercise or high heat.

Drinking More Water Could Help Boost Weight Loss

Many people believe that drinking extra water to accelerate weight loss is simply an old wives’ tale. However, scientific research actually backs this theory.

Several studies have shown that drinking 500 ml of water can boost your metabolism by up to 30% for a short period of time (source).

Research also shows that drinking more water (especially up to 30 minutes before meals) could suppress your appetite. The end result is that you eat less, thus losing more weight (source).

In fact, one study showed that those who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost a whopping 44% more weight over a 12 week period than those who didn’t (source)

Drinking Enough Water Can Help Relieve a Number of Health Problems.

Several everyday health issues can have their symptoms relieved simply by getting enough H2O.

Research has shown that by increasing your water intake you could improve the symptoms of constipation (source), reduce your risk of kidney stones (source) and even reduce your risk of certain types of cancer like bladder (source) and colorectal (source).

Types of Water​

Pure water is a type of “whole food.”

Like other whole foods, when it is tampered with, water loses most of its precious healing properties.

Water is tampered with any time one adds anything to it, filters it using anything except carbon, spins it, alkalizes it, and so on.

All of these manipulations tend to ruin it, rendering it less healthy and hydrating. To clarify, I’ve listed some different types of water which you may come across below.

Spring Water

This is the only type of water you should drink. It’s okay if you drink other water occasionally, but try to make spring water the majority.

Spring water has been filtered by the earth in ways we do not completely understand. This method works better than any invented means of purifying water.

Another advantage is that it contains a wide variety of trace minerals that the human body desperately needs. Ideally, drink only spring water from remote places on earth as it will be relatively free from pollutants.

I like Ice Age water from a remote Glacier in Canada for its mineral profile. I love Hawaiian waters that run through mineral-rich volcanic rock (Hawaii is one of the most remote places on earth). Other spring water examples include Evian, Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water, Volvic, and Poland brands.

Artesian Water

This is spring water. Artesian water comes from a well that has been dug in the earth. When the well is created, the internal pressure from the hole causes the water to burst forth spontaneously from the well like a fountain.

Artesian water comes from a well that taps a confined aquifer - a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand in which the water level is above the top of the aquifer. Examples include the Fiji brand water.

Reverse Osmosis

This method involves passing water at high pressure through a plastic membrane with tiny holes in it. This is a common filtration method in many bottled waters as it produces very pure water.

It is used in almost all home and commercial “drinking water” machines such as those in water stores, supermarkets and health food stores. It is also used industrially in bottling plants for soda pop, soups, juices, beer and many other drinks. I bought a reverse osmosis alkaline water system for $1100 before I had done my research.

Excited about my new purchase, I drank 10 glasses of water a day. I drank more and more, drinking ten glasses of water a day for weeks. But I was still thirsty! I never felt satiated. Sadly reverse osmosis water does not hydrate as well as spring water. I can certainly attest to this.

Since then, I have only drunk spring water and feel fully hydrated after 8 glasses a day. Reverse osmosis, sadly, is terrible for drinking. It does not matter if someone has added minerals back to it. These things cannot undo the damage to the water that occurs due to passing it through the plastic membrane. Examples include Dasani

Alkaline Water

Alkaline water has been ionized to increase its pH to between 8 and 10. Some believe that the health benefits of alkaline water are overstated, and that it has little to do with stabilizing or reducing acidity in the body, but is more of a marketing scam.

A major issue with this kind of water is that there is not enough research conclusively showing the benefits actually exist. Even if many of the claims are true, the only people who really would benefit are individuals who have trouble keeping their body alkaline due to a bad diet, or people who have problems with their natural buffering systems.​

Alkaline water systems include the Jupiter, I-Water, Kangen, and others. Some devices pass tap water through a carbon filter, which does not remove many toxic metals and often does not even remove too many toxic chemicals because the water must move quickly through the filter.

Then the water passes over electrified platinum and titanium plates to alkalinize it. Platinum is a deadly toxic metal, as is titanium. Some people find that they develop extreme platinum or titanium metal toxicity after using these machines. Because of this problem alone, I do not recommend these filters.

Read The Full Guide to the Source and Symptoms of Toxic Metals

Some say alkaline water is beneficial because of its alkalinity and ORP (Oxidation Reduction Potential) making it an antioxidant. However, the antioxidant value only lasts 18-24 hours after it’s made.

The higher pH will last approximately 1-2 weeks. The smaller molecule cluster size of its water will last about 1-3 months. Given these facts, bottling alkaline water makes no sense, because the health benefits are gone is such a short period. Don’t waste your money.

Tap Water

Tap water contains heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, medicines like antibiotics and antidepressants and hundreds of chemicals, many of which are not even measured or regulated.

Fluoride causes many, many side effects, weakening bones and increasing your chance of developing osteoporosis and cancer, yet it’s added to almost every municipal water supply in the US.

Drink it if you dare. Tap water, if unfiltered, often has too many toxic metals and chemicals in it to be good for drinking.

If tap water is filtered with only carbon, then it will hydrate the body and can be used for drinking, but is not usually as good as a high quality spring water.

Note that carbon can remove some chlorine, but not fluorides. Since city regulators do not monitor or filter for medications, there are hundreds of them in your tap water. It’s not a good idea to drink it.​

Drinking water

Drinking water comes from a municipal source, but is better known as tap water. Don’t bother paying for bottled drinking water that you can get out of your tap. Examples include Sahara and Kirkland brands.

Distilled Water

Distilled water has gone through a rigorous filtration process to strip it not only of contaminants, but natural minerals as well. When water is distilled by boiling and condensing it, all solid matter is left behind except for some chemicals that were in the water.

Most industrial distillers have methods to capture these substances to prevent them from remaining in the water. For this reason, I find that industrially distilled water is the very best. I do not recommend buying a home distiller because they cannot match the purity of industrial distillers.

Distilled water can be used for a few months to remove toxic metals and toxic chemicals from the body quite effectively. Drinking distilled water for longer than this, however, always results in vital mineral deficiencies. Examples of distilled water include Sparkletts and SmartWater.​

Mineral Water

Mineral water contains no less than 250 parts per million total dissolved mineral solids and is defined by its constant level of mineral and trace elements at the point of emergence from the source.

No minerals can be added to the water. Examples include Panna from Italy.

Sparkling Mineral Water

Yes, the fizzy kind. But what makes it fizzy? This type of water contains the same amount of carbon dioxide that it had when it emerged from its source.

Sparkling bottled waters may be labeled as sparkling drinking water, sparkling mineral water, sparkling spring water, etc. Examples include Perrier and Pellegrino.

Well Water

Well water can be fine, but often it is contaminated. This is especially the case if one lives in a location that was ever used for industry or agriculture. Even if your location is pristine, wells can easily become contaminated, especially with minerals such as iron and manganese.

Learn more about The Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water​

State testing laboratories cannot or will not test for hundreds of toxic chemicals. They often don’t even test for contaminants such as high levels of manganese. If you have a well, try to check carefully before using it for drinking purposes. Many folks that drink from wells have manganese toxicity, in addition to others.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The fact is as long as you’re drinking water that is good for you, knowing how much to drink in order to reap the benefits is simple:

  • Drink whenever you feel thirsty
  • When you don’t feel thirsty any more, don’t drink
  • Drink before meals if you want to curb your appetite
  • Drink more when it’s hot or you are exercising to make up for lost fluids

It really is as simple as that.

Here's an interesting infographic I have found at graphicspedia.net

Wendy Myers
 

Wendy Myers, CHHC, is a certified holistic health and nutrition coach and founder of Liveto110.com. Her passions include getting you healthy, The Modern Paleo Diet and detoxing your body. Look for her new book coming soon, Roadblocks to Weight Loss.

  • Jessie

    So…I have been drinking nothing but Deerpark water in plastic bottles for several years. Is this safe? What is the best alternative if not? I have well water at my house and the taste is not good. Should I invest in a filtration system and drink my home water or stick with the Deerpark? Thanks!

  • This is plenty of information but very much helpful. The information graphics is illustratively showed. Great post as always Wendy. You’re awesome. Thanks!