Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. (USGS) So clearly its important to drink water to keep that 60% number up there and make sure your bod is in tip top shape! Drinking water does a lot of really great things for your health. But did you know you can drink too much?
The last few years I’ve gotten nasty bronchitis nearly 6-8 months out of the year. I’d be sick for months at a time and couldn’t kick it. This year I decided to take control of my health and really get to the bottom of what was making me sick. Initially I blamed my poor health on the eating disorder I have battled since I was a kid. Anorexia had destroyed my immune system. And I do believe that was the case during and shortly after I was in the midst of my struggle. But after I had overcome a lot of the problems and was eating again (and gaining) I was still getting sick. Alot. And no matter what I did it wouldn’t go away. I visited every doctor and specialist I could. I had an outrageous amount of tests done. But still nothing worked.
Then I decided ok, maybe its more than just a problem with my lungs, maybe its my overall health and diet. I started cutting out processed foods, and preservatives. Started making things I bought pre-made. Cut out junk. Cut out pop (I’m from Michigan its Pop!) and started drinking almost exclusively water. Before I went to Argentina I changed my diet completely and started eating clean.
Between eating healthier and drinking water (its been months since I drank pop) I noticed a DRASTIC difference in my health.
My skin was clearer, I had more energy, I lost weight and got better sleep. Even though I was doing great (and still do pretty good) with my diet and eating healthy. I was convinced that I needed to drink a gallon of water a day. I usually didn’t drink quite that much, but I was getting pretty close (drinking 3 sometimes 4 giant bottles of Smartwater). I started noticing some weird things happening but I never connected the two. My heart palpitations (which are a result of my anxiety) were increasing. I attributed that to my long distance relationship and the stress of having my future all up in the air (still is the root of my anxiety). I was also getting a lot of foot cramps. Like almost every day, crippling cramps in my feet that even walking it out couldn’t help.
I recruited my mom and sister to ask the family chiropractor if he had some suggestions. My sister told him about my concerns, my diet and my water consumption and he instantly came up with a solution.
You’re drinking too much water. You’re diluting the magnesium in your body, that it needs.
I cut back on the water…and guess what happened. Foot cramps disappeared. Palpatations decreased a ton. Although Mayo Clinic says that drinking too much water is rare among healthy adults eating a typical American diet, I was also not eating a typical American diet. I was eliminating a lot of sodium, sugars and processed foods from my diet, and eating 1200-1300 calories a day. It was evident after I eased up that it was what was causing my foot cramps.
So I needed to learn to monitor my water intake and make sure I’m not drinking too much or not drinking enough. Thanks to my FitBit and MyFitnessPal, I’m able to track that pretty easily.
Even though I was drinking too much water. Drinking water is super important for your health. And for lots of reasons:
- Drinking water regulates your body temperature
- Keeps your nose, mouth and other tissues (inside and out, all over your body) moist.
- Helps protect your organs
- Helps your liver and kidneys function better by helping to get rid of toxins and waste
- Keeps oxygen in your blood
- Helps to dissolve minerals and nutrients in the body more easily.
- Helps to control calories! —> Instead of reaching for a 240 calorie can of coke, you reach for a 0 calorie bottle of water. Bam…calorie control
- Helps your skin! (who doesnt want better looking skin!)
So how much should you drink?
There’s no official amount, as it varies per person but there’s the old standby rule of 8X8: Drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Which if you really think about it is incredibly easy to do. A small bottle of water is typically 12-16oz and a large bottle is typically 33oz. That big bottle is 4 glasses of water. Half way there! That 8X8 rule is not a hard and fast rule, but its an easy way to remember to drink more water throughout your day.
Now I’m more aware of how much water I drink I tend to buy water bottles and re-fill them. It not only makes it easier for me to keep track of but it keeps me from having to wash glasses all the time. I also tend to drink more water when I have the bottles filled up and in the fridge. I can quick snag one and I always keep my Brita filter full so I can easily re-fill when its empty and switch out for a nice cold one.
How do you make sure you’re drinking enough water every day? Have you ever drank too much water??