2. Optimize Hydration
As the basis and host for nearly all life on earth, water is fundamental to the construction, development, and maintenance of almost every living organism. Recall the “Rule of 3”: The human body can only survive without air for 3 minutes, water for 3 days, or food for 3 weeks. If water is more important than food for survival, then surely it takes priority in maintaining health. This is why I focus more on my hydration than on my caloric intake.
How much water should you drink? Although I generally advise people to drink more water, hydration is a 100% personal journey, and over-hydration can have negative effects. There is no single amount that is optimal for everyone. There are general guidelines, but they shift between the age-old recommendation of “eight 8-ounce glasses per day” to a gallon or more. The optimal amount will depend on how active we are, how many diuretics we consume, and many other variables. Most of us were never encouraged to figure out our bodies’ unique systems and may therefore neglect how essential hydration really is to our health.
Among its many functions within healthy living, water is a vital element in the processes of waste management. It is the waste itself that allows us to roughly measure and determine how much water the body needs. The barometer I use to gauge whether to increase or decrease my daily water intake is the color of the “fluid exhaust.” Yes, I am talking about urine; I will keep the discussion brief.
Clear (No color) = Drink Less Water (or decrease diuretics and substitute with H2O)
Dark (Apple juice - Whiskey colored) = Drink More Water
Light (Lemonade - Champagne colored) = Optimal Hydration
If visual analysis is unobtainable, aim for 60-70 ounces of water daily per 150lbs of body mass (depending on diuretics, perspiration, and other forms of dehydration).
I personally feel at my best with a large drink of water (at room temp.), before and after ingesting anything else. This habit also keeps me drinking enough water to sustain fluctuating pH levels.