I wrote this essay quite some time ago. With our current flu (which is making it very difficult to compose for the blog . . . ) it’s coming into sharp focus. I drink much more water each day than Michelle does. So far, my cough has been far less severe than hers, and my breathing has been much clearer!
We’ve all heard the old saw that we should all drink 8 glasses of water per day. Despite a recent study that attempts to debunk this recommendation, drinking adequate water throughout the day is a simple way to improve one’s health, well-being, and even one’s looks.
I began the habit of drinking more than 8 glasses of water (64 ounces) each day shortly after leaving college. I worked up to roughly a gallon of water a day. When my mother told a urologist friend that I consumed that much water regularly, he told her, “If everyone did that, I’d be out of a job.”
Drinking that much water hydrates my skin, reduces or eliminates flaking and wrinkles, and flushes my pores for a better complexion. It reduces my appetite, regulates my bodily functions, clears my thinking and clarifies my vision. These are effects I recognize. Doubtless there are others I’m unaware of.
Pure water is the primary fuel for our bodies. Unfortunately, our society has turned away from water in favor of other beverages. Even with the growing popularity of bottled water, other drinks still account for the majority of our daily fluid consumption.
Many medical people claim that fruit juices, milk, even teas or coffees will keep us properly hydrated. While some liquid is always better than none, remember that anything more than plain water will need to be filtered by the body on some level. Plain water flushes those same filters, helping them function better.
Currently, I consume just over 3.5 liters of plain water a day, in addition to a cup of coffee in the morning, and a glass of wine at dinner. That’s my minimum on a sedentary day—if I’m working, I drink more water.
Increasing water intake is daunting, but it can be done. Plan on more and longer bathroom breaks initially. A good indicator of whether or not you’re giving your body what it needs is the color of your urine: if it’s running clear, you’re getting enough water. Soon, your body will adjust, and you’ll need fewer breaks. Before long you’ll begin to crave the increased amount of water, which will help you stay in the habit.