Although it seems pretty common sense, the majority of people I see in clinic are not properly hydrating themselves. They either drink too much water, too little water, or not the right kind! There are so many people I know whose health problems would be mitigated with a regular intake of water. Health problems such as dry skin, sleepiness, headache, irritability, muscle cramps, light headedness, palpitations, or confusion are one of the many symptoms of dehydration. So let me explain how to properly drink water, according to an Acupuncturist.
This is one of the major points. ALWAYS DRINK YOUR WATER WARM. And no, room temperature, straight from the tap, is not warm. You want to drink warm water because your body is warm. It takes energy to convert the temperature of cold water to the warm temperature that is usable for your body. Cold water is a shock to the stomach and can gravely impair the digestive system by "putting out" the digestive fires. Cold blocks the meridians and causes stagnation and pain. It is important to protect the internal organs from cold and keep the blood circulation flowing smoothly. Drinking too much cold water could cause internal cold and manifest in symptoms like cold hands and feet, Reynaud's syndrome, headaches, loose stools, fatigue, painful menses, poor digestion, varicose veins, and weight gain. Even in the summer, if you need some room temperature or slightly chilled water, at least try to avoid drinking it while you are eating.
Try drinking a few ounces every hour, even if you're not particularly thirsty. It is also crucial to drink immediately upon waking since we naturally become a bit dehydrated throughout the night. My morning ritual includes 12 ounces of warm water, occasionally with a few slices of lime or lemon as soon as I get up and before I begin my day.
Caffeinated beverages and alcohol do not count towards your daily water intake. 8 ounces of wine or tea does not equate to 8 ounces of water. These drinks actually dehydrate the body. If you cannot try to limit each of these to 8 ounces per day, try to drink one glass of water per extra coffee or alcoholic drink you have in one day.
If you don't believe me and still crave ice water every day, simply try drinking warm water for a couple weeks and pay attention to how your body responds. You may notice increased energy and better digestion!
For any health concerns you may have, visit me at my school's student clinic!