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
But getting enough water doesn’t just help you regulate how much you eat --
it helps you digest it properly, as well.
“Water allows your kidneys to function properly and filter everything they
need to, and allows us to eliminate effectively and not be constipated,” Melton
says. “People who don’t get enough fluids in their diet tend to be
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
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.