Patients tell me, “I hate water”. How can you hate water? We are water. Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for your tissues.

So how much water do you need to drink? Nobody really knows the exact origin of the 8 glass per day rule. Likely it come from an estimate of the amount of water the average size body needs to function in a 24 hour period. So it definitely is a good rule of thumb and easy to remember. However, we are all different and the amount of water we need depends on a variety of factors including our weight, activity level, and outside temperature. Another rule of thumb is to calculate by body weight. Take your body weight and divide by 2 to get the number of ounces you need to drink (A 120 lb person should drink 60 ounce of water). Some experts argue just to pay attention to your body. Drink when you are thirsty and watch the color of your urine which is an indicator of hydration (the urine of a well hydrated person should be light yellow). I tend to agree with the latter because we are all different and to say that we all have the same water requirements doesn’t make any sense.

Personally, I think one of the biggest problems is the “I hate water” problem. My patients argue that they drink plenty of “fluids”. You do get water from other fluids you drink; however, it is the other ingredients that are slowly killing us. It is our addiction to caffeine and sugar that is the biggest problem as well as the marketing by the food industry that brainwashes us into buying their products. Coke will make us happy, vitamin water will give us nutrition, energy drinks will make us feel better. The problem is that these drinks that promise happiness and health are one of the leading causes obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis. And yes diet sodas are bad too.

So what do I tell the patients who say they hate water? I tell them to do what I did. Yes, I was addicted to diet coke. Diet coke got me through the sleep-deprived years of medical school. Find healthier drinks that have natural ingredients. Green tea sweetened with stevia or raw sugar, club soda with a little pomegranate juice and lime, water with lemon or lime. After a while, you will lose your taste for sodas and may eventually find yourself saying, “I hate sodas”.

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