Drinking water is not only essential for life, but is needed for optimizing both muscle recovery and immune function. There are a lot of “rules” and formulas out there with the aim of telling us how much water, and how often we should be drinking. Consider the following formula: take your body weight in pounds, and divide it by two. This number in ounces is how much water you should be drinking everyday. As an example of this, a 128lb person should aim to drink 64oz (or roughly 2L) of water per day. Be sure not to drink your daily quota of water in one go! Our stomach can only absorb roughly 4oz (one big mouthful) of water every 30 minutes.
This means you can aim to drink about a glass of water every hour. Drinking enough water can prevent muscle cramping, tension headaches, and in some cases alleviate symptoms of heartburn.
How Do You Like Your Coffee?
Coffee. The sweet nectar that helps us go in the morning. This is not a pro or anti coffee argument, but rather a brief discussion on its relationship to water and digestive function in our bodies. A common misconception is: “coffee is made with water so that counts towards my water intake, right?” This is only partially correct. It is correct that we will absorb the water in the coffee, however the caffeine found in coffee exhibits a mild diuretic effect in our bodies. This means our body loses an increased amount of water in the form of urine.
Coffee can also exacerbate symptoms of heartburn. One study measured a positive relationship between caffeine (not coffee) intake and a relaxing effect on the lower esophageal sphincter . This effect can result in an increase of acid reflux (heartburn).
If you are a coffee lover, give your body a helping hand by keeping your daily coffee intake to about two cups per day, drinking decaf if you suffer from heartburn, and making sure you’re drinking an adequate amount of water to offset the diuretic effect.
Should you find yourself feeling very low on energy, it may be a good idea to investigate why you’re experiencing this fatigue with the help of a naturopathic physician!
1. S Lohsiriwat, N Puengna, S Leelakusolvong. 2006;19(3):183-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-2050.2006.00562.x.