Water blog #2.
Several years ago, I wrote a blog about water while talking about different types of water. Well, it is time to talk about water again as the temperatures are rising outside. California is still in a drought, but most of us have adjusted our plant/lawn water schedules, shower lengths, and even how water is used in our house. However, we cannot cut back on the water that we give our bodies. Water is vital for us to function.
Water has many functions in the body. One, especially, is near and dear to my heart right now, and that is to help produce breast milk. Throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding water is important. As the baby is developing in utero, the female’s blood volume increases, and water is needed to help make sure this happens.
Water is important for making sure we can dissolve minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body. It also aides in carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells. Without water we’d be full of “toxic” waste as water helps with bowel movements too, and is vital for urination as well as digestion in general.
Water also helps to protect organs, tissue, joints, and our spinal cord by making sure there is extra fluid so these items can move and function as they need to. Our body temperature is regulated with sweat; perspiration is how we can cool ourselves down. Our eyes, mouth, and noise are moistened because of the water we drink. And water helps to keep us from getting dehydrated.
We need to be drinking water throughout the day. Most of my patients come to me not drinking enough water. For even myself, there are days where I do not drink enough water. We should be drinking half our body weight in ounces of water per day. Meaning if you weigh 180 lbs then you should be drinking a minimum of 90 fluid ounces of water per day, or about twelve cups, or approximately eight 12 ounce kitchen glasses. And if you are currently not drinking this much water then please slowly increase your water intake as your body needs to adjust to the extra water, or you will be peeing all the time.
Recently, I have had to make my water more appealing to me so that I will drink what I need; better supporting my breast milk production. I have been drinking water mixtures that include a small amount of juice and coconut water; but this concoction is comprised mainly of water, of course. The coconut water helps with electrolyte balancing while the juice helps to give the water a more palatable flavor.
Please evaluate how much water you are drinking, while making the appropriate increases, and especially if you are going to be outside more now in the heat. Stay hydrated folks, thanks.