Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Water and Your Diet: Staying Slim and Regular With H2O

Find out if you're getting enough water to keep your metabolism cranking at peak efficiency and your digestive system functioning well.

The Digestive Health Benefits of Water continued...

And that’s not all. The single biggest cause of painful kidney stones is chronic dehydration. When you don’t get enough water, calcium and other minerals build up in your urine and are harder for your body to filter out. They can form the crystals that make up kidney and urinary stones.

Doctors who specialize in pediatric kidney problems report seeing more kidney stones in children in recent years, and they believe it’s because of a combination of factors. Many kids aren’t drinking enough water. Also, many kids are overweight and eat a poor diet.

“I’ve been in this field for over 30 years, and I’d say that until about the last 10 to 15 years, you almost never saw stones in kids,” says Robert Weiss, MD, chief of pediatric nephrology at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital of the Westchester Medical Center in New York. “Lately, the frequency is increasing dramatically.”

How Much Water Do You Need?

How can you know if you’re getting enough water to keep your metabolism cranking at peak efficiency and your digestive system functioning? The formula used to be “one size fits all” -- eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But that’s changed, experts say.

“It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live,” Nessler says. “In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.

Another quick way to check: look in the bowl after you’ve gone to the bathroom. If your urine is clear or very light yellow and has little odor, you’re well hydrated. The darker and more aromatic your urine, the more dehydrated you are.

How can you build more water consumption into your day? Try these tips:

  • Carry an insulated sports bottle with you and fill it up periodically.
  • Keep a glass of water on your desk at work.
  • Keep another glass next to your bed. Many of us wake up dehydrated first thing in the morning.
  • Switch one glass of soda or cup of coffee for a glass of water.
  • Drink small amounts of water throughout the day. Six glasses all at once isn’t good for you!
1|2
Reviewed on July 07, 2009

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections