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
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!