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We all know how important it is to stay hydrated but did you know that the latest recommendation is to drink one gallon of water per day? My first thought when I read this was that’s a lot of water. My second thought – I’m going to be in the bathroom all day long.

Science states that 50-70% of our total body weight is water. The brain is composed of 70 percent water, lungs are nearly 90 percent water and our blood is about 83 percent water. Water helps digest our food, transport and eliminate waste and toxins, mobilize fat, and control body temperature. Think of it this way, every tissue cell, organ and system is comprised of water and functions optimally only in the presence of adequate hydration. Even fat loss will not occur at an ideal rate if you are in a dehydrated state and it’s well known that water helps to suppress our appetite.

Water is our life force, in fact, we could only go a few days without water before our body would start to deteriorate and die. According to the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, “the average adult loses about two and a half quarts or about 10 cups of water daily through urine and sweat.” Just cover your entire arm with a plastic bag and within a few minutes you’ll get a very visual demonstration of how much water we lose in a day. Think of the good old-fashioned sweat suits designed to make you sweat and lose weight. Yes, you lost weight but it wasn’t fat weight, it was very valuable water weight!

To maintain your body’s fluid balance, you need to replace at least 10 cups of water (80 ounces) every day. This amount needs to be increased in hot weather conditions or during exercise where you can lose up to a liter per hour during a workout. Plus, as we age, there is a general loss of water in all tissues – consider it the plum to prune effect! So the question is – would you prefer to be a healthy and hydrated plum or a dried up, old wrinkly prune?!

Unfortunately most people exist in a dehydrated state. In fact, common complaints like headaches, lack of energy, feeling tired and lethargic, being prone to sickness and injury, kidney stones, constipation and achy joints and muscles have been associated with dehydration. So try and commit to drinking at least 10 glasses of water every day and see if you notice an improvement in your overall health, body composition and energy levels.

Oh, regarding my comment about spending a lot of time in the bathroom throughout the day – in the beginning, your body and its tissues will just flush it out since they are not used to absorbing this higher level of fluid. And yes, you will be spending a great deal of time in the restroom, but it won’t last long. Your body and its tissues will start to absorb the water and your need to run to bathroom all day long should decrease. Your body will adapt to your hydrated state and your thirst mechanism will also become more efficient. You’ll find that the more you drink the more thirsty you become and that’s a great sign!