Photo by Manki Kim

You can lead a skin junkie to water, but you can’t make them drink.

75% of us are dehydrated – all of the time. It’s an epidemic with dire health consequences, and in a society where we take clean drinking water for granted, it’s kind of pathetic. Water is the essence of life, and if you’re reading this, you have access to it everywhere you go. Not only does lack of hydration impact your skin (dehydrated skin is a very different condition than dry skin, the latter typically being a lack of oil) but a host of other serious issues. Blood circulation, waste removal, hormone and nervous system regulation, body temperature, brain function and a lot more depend on consuming the correct amount of water. So how much water should you drink?

A rule of thumb is half your weight in ounces. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need to drink 75 ounces of water per day. But you need to test and customize for your particular needs. Things that could determine whether or not you need more water include:

  • Medications that act like diuretics.
  • Exercise or activity that increases your sweat volume.
  • Lack of water rich foods in your diet.
  • An individual need for more water.

Too much of a good thing can be bad. Excessive water consumption can be dangerous, and even deadly. Water intoxication is a condition that dilutes blood electrolytes, and can result in muscle cramping, weakness, heart arrhythmias and fatal brain swelling. You can go into the danger zone with 1 to 2 gallons of water in a day.

Remember that hydration doesn’t happen instantly. Your body needs a little time to utilize the water you put in, so spread your water intake out throughout the day.

Get wet people!

More in the journal.

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