Ask Stephie: Water, the wonder beverage: How much is enough?

We are constantly being told to “drink more water, drink more water.” Sounds great, but how much should we be drinking, and what are the benefits?

Depending on which magazine or “health” book you pick up these days, the answers may vary. Over the years, I have looked to the leading health and fitness experts in the field who are getting the desired results for themselves, their patients and their clients.

Dr. Robert Young, a leading health expert and author, recommends drinking 1 liter for every 40 pounds of body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would need about 4 liters (about 4.25 quarts) of pure water per day. Other health sources say drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day is enough to prevent dehydration.

So, your next question might be, “Whom do I listen to?” As a health and fitness professional for more than 10 years, I have come to the conclusion that each of us knows how much water is right for our own body, but it may take some time experimenting with different amounts.

With that said, I feel using the eight 8-ounce glasses per day as a bench mark is a great place to begin. Slowly increase the amount until you start to see and feel the benefits of having a fully hydrated body. Substituting your morning juice, mid-morning coffee and afternoon pop with water is an excellent way to get more water into your daily schedule.

Now, let’s talk about the amazing benefits of this “wonder beverage.” According to Dr. George Grant, founder of the International Academy of Wellness, water can help relieve/prevent chronic joint and back pain, improve energy levels, increase one’s metabolism naturally (which can aid in weight loss), improve skin and muscle tone, regulate body temperature, remove toxins from the body, reduce water retention, help relieve constipation and even help get rid of a headache. The list goes on and on.

Dr. Grant recommends drinking a half-ounce of pure water per pound of body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you should drink 80 ounces of water per day. Again, you be the judge of how you feel as you increase your water consumption.

One last, but very important, thing I need to mention is that the quality of the water you drink will have a direct impact on the benefits you will receive as your body becomes properly hydrated. It is best to drink purified water, such as bottled spring water, or reverse-osmosis filtered water. The cleaner the water source, the cleaner your body will become! Makes sense, doesn’t it? So, cheers, and drink up!

Stephie Steele is owner of Symmetry Fitness, LLC. She has been featured in IDEA Health & Fitness Source magazine and specializes in weight loss, sports performance, total body fitness, strength training, core conditioning, cardiovascular and flexibility training. Readers can send their questions to Stephie via e-mail to

From the Aug. 2-8, 2006, issue

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