How Much Water Should I Drink?

The Old 8 x 8 Guidelines Are Outdated

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We've heard that we should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. But not many of us drink that much. And even that recommendation may be low. I thought I drank plenty of water -- most days anyway -- but going through The Conscious Cleanse alerted me to the fact that I wasn't drinking nearly enough.

One size-fits-all recommendation for water consumption doesn't make sense when you consider that adults vary greatly in weight and activity levels.

 Does a 5' 2" woman who weighs 110 pounds need the same amount of water as a linebacker for the Denver Broncos?   Of course not.  Even the amount of water one person needs can change depending on where you live, the time of year and what you're doing. 

The new rule of thumb is to take your weight and divide it in half.  That is the minimum number of ounces of healthy, filtered water that you should drink every day, not counting other liquids.  

If you weigh 140 pounds, drink at least 70 ounces water.  Drink more if you are active, live in a warm climate, or are on a cleansing diet.  

Julie Peláez and Jo Schaalman, developed Conscious Cleanse, a two-week detox and elimination diet that removes common food allergens so you can identify the best way to eat and drink for your body.  They recommend that people on the program drink at least half their body weight in ounces, plus another thirty ounces.

They are active yoga teachers, so they drink even more -- their body weight in ounces every day.  

But how do you drink that much water? Jo and Jules recommend you start each day with a 32-ounce mason jar of hot lemon water.  If you weigh 140 pounds, you're already one-half of the way to your minimum daily water intake goal, or one-third of the way to the suggested amount.

 Refill it with fresh spring or filtered water (to remove chemicals like chlorine) once or twice, and you know when you've made your target.

Drinking hot lemon water in the morning has added benefits like stimulating your digestive system, boosting your energy without caffeine, and hydrating your body and skin.

Jo and Jules try to drink most their water consumption before 2 p.m. so that they don't wake up at night to go to the bathroom.  "When you get ten clear pees a day, you're getting enough water," says Jo.  Yellow urine is a sign that you're dehydrated (or taking multi-vitamins).  They said it was almost impossible to drink too much water.  Especially during a detox program, we need to flush our system and improve elimination.

I thought I was drinking enough water most days, but once I tried to hit the recommended amount of water, I realized how little I had actually been drinking.    But one thing puzzled me.  The more water I drank, the thirstier I got, especially at the beginning of the cleanse.  Jules told me my "thirst sensors were coming back to life" as I gave them water. 

I like to drink water, but some people are used to getting their liquids through flavored or caffeinated beverages.

  Just like ​green smoothies, water gets better the more you drink it.  "It's important to learn to like the flavor of healthy water," Jo says.  

Once I started following new recommendations, I felt better. My muscle tissue and joints felt more fluid and flexible, and pain in my shoulders eased significantly. I highly recommend that you start drinking more, and see how you feel.