top of page

The Root Cause

It seems like every ailment we have these days is rooted in not drinking enough water or could be helped with more water intake. No matter how much we drink, we are told to do more. I think I do. I say I do. But I know I don't. We hear this from our doctors and we read this frequently: every organ system in the body needs water. I set out to understand why, hoping I will do better if I know the reasons.

Turns out newborns are 75% water and adults are 60% water. To be more precise, the brain and heart are 73% water, the lungs are 83% water, the skin is 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and bones are 31%.

Holy. Water.

Without replenishment our cells are impacted in ways we cannot imagine. The picture below has completely freaked me out. Who wants to be an undifferentiated mass?!

Water regulates our body temperature, helps the kidneys flush out harmful waste, carries nutrients to cells, and dissolves minerals and other nutrients for cells to absorb. Besides that, it helps us keep our eyes, nose, and mouth moistened. Water intake is directly linked to gut movement, mood, cognition, endurance, and strength. As we breathe, walk, sweat, and work we lose electrolytes and end up impacting our ability to stay well and happy.

In short, it is WD-40 and the rails on which our bodies function. Besides, "shock absorber for brain and spinal cord" is definitely compelling!

Our cells are incredibly resilient and they try to cope with whatever condition we subject them to. They don't complain but they do react. Sometimes with vengeance, as in crystallization of salts into kidney stones. Since the leading cause of kidney stones is a lack of water intake, I will be very disappointed with myself if I bring this on.

So how much should you drink?

You should not trust me on the answer because I am basically a quack. But I present you these facts...

The answer depends on your weight, height, geography, lifestyle, and health. I found this rule-of-thumb: " should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day." For me that would be 7-14 glasses daily. Meep. I don't even get to the lower end of that range on a daily basis!

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women. This includes water, all other beverages, and food, assuming 20% comes from food. Based on this, Mayo Clinic says that 8 glasses of water per day is a reasonable goal, supplemented with other beverages and food.

As I write, I am sitting here with 32oz of water, drinking it slowly to keep a specific hyperactive organ from getting agitated. 4 glasses down, 4 more to go. Stay healthy, happy, mobile, and strong this year with water, agua, eau, wasser, shuǐ, pani, jol...whatever your preference.

Cheers to jol, my new best friend!

bottom of page