How much and when to drink water?
Drink roughly half of your body’s weight in ounces of water per day. For example, a person that weighs 180 lbs should drink 90 oz of water a day, or roughly 8 glasses (12 oz each). Drink 1-2 large glasses (depending on your body size) immediately upon getting out of bed in the morning, get ready for the day (take a shower, put your clothes on), and finally eat breakfast. This way, by the time you are ready to eat breakfast, the water in your stomach has probably mostly worked its way into your intestines. You don’t want to drink much water with your meals as too much water can dilute the digestive juices. A few gulps with a meal would fine, but no more. After meals, wait for a good 45 minutes to an hour, or even more, before you start drinking a lot of water. Once your food has moved out of your stomach into your intestines, or at least mostly digested in your stomach, it would be fine to start drinking a lot of water again. Drink a lot of water between meals, 45-60 minutes after meals all the way up to 10-15 minutes before meals. I’d recommend avoiding much water consumption in the evening after dinner since it will most likely make you get up in the middle of the night to urinate, disturbing your precious sleep.

What kind of water bottle is desirable?
I would suggest using water bottles that are made of glass or metal. If you decide to use a plastic water bottle, it should be BPA free hard plastic.

What to do and what not do if you hate drinking water…

(Note: The following information is potentially helpful to anyone who does not enjoy or does not end up drinking what is considered to be a sufficient amount of water every day. The fast and easy rule of thumb is that you drink half of your body’s weight in ounces of water, not other drinks, per day.)

Like many other individuals whose “constitutional homeopathic” remedy is Pulsatilla, Kimberly hates drinking plain water. (Note: Some Pulsatilla individuals go the other way, and indeed love water, which is a tool they use to help with their extremely dry mouth.) Kimberly tried adding artificial sweeteners (such as Crystal Light) to her water, or drinking liquids with aspartame in them. She developed various side effects as a result, including joint pain and abdominal symptoms. She has found that she likes drinking chocolate hazelnut tea even though she has never liked other teas. If you can figure out what flavored teas you like and start drinking teas, or find natural sweeteners to add to your drinking water in order to increase your water intake, it can make all the difference in your health if you are chronically dehydrated. You can obtain natural sweeteners from health food stores such as Whole Foods or PCC (Puget Sound Consumer’s Coop).

Kim also likes to add pure lemon juice from the actual lemon along with Stevia powder to her drinking water. Adding ice is a definite plus for her as well.

Coincidentally, Pulsatilla individuals feel more thirsty as long as they take their remedy on a regular basis. In fact the thirst can return within minutes of taking the remedy. Often times I have seen Pulsatilla patients ask for water in the office minutes after taking their remedy. I have captured this phenomenon on video on at least 5 occasions.

My other suggestions to individuals who don’t naturally gravitate towards drinking a lot of water on a daily basis include drinking liquids they like such as herbal teas or sparkling water, using a straw to drink with, finding their favorite water bottle (sqeezy or sippy bottle), drinking water at their favorite temperature, adding healthy additives such as electrolyte tablets (example: Nuun) to their water, etc. (Note that black or green tea are fine, but keep in mind that they have a diuretic effect. In other words, if you drink black or green tea, you should drink lots of water to make up for the fact that you just consumed a diuretic. For every cup of black or green tea, you should drink one cup of water just to break even.)

Sometimes such individuals do well with a forced regimen of drinking water throughout the day. For example, they drink 2 cups of water upon waking, then 2 more cups a few hours later (between breakfast and lunch), and 2 more cups between lunch and dinner, and ideally at least 1-2 more cup after dinner. Note that you can drink up to 15 minutes before a meal, but need to wait at least 30 (ideally 45) minutes after you have consumed a meal.

Based on my observation of people who don’t drink much water everyday, such individuals tend to drink only a sip or two before they place their water cup/bottle down. If this is you, my suggestion to you is the following: Once you pick up your water cup or bottle, don’t put it back down until you have drank at least 5-10 gulps. And, do this at least 10 times a day.

Another interesting observation is that people who drink hot liquids such as teas need to be conscious of their liquid intake since they usually think they are drinking enough water when they may not be. Such individuals usually don’t end up getting enough water into their body due to two reasons: One reason is that they drink less water, thinking drinking teas is providing enough water for their body. However, as healthy as teas may be for you, they don’t replace water. Second reason is that when you drink a hot drink like tea, you need to drink slowly since it can otherwise burn your lips or mouth. This clearly slows down the rate at which you consume liquids. Along the similar lines, drinking a hot liquid is usually a ritual that is supposed to be carried out slowly and with “class”, otherwise it won’t be satisfying to most people. This is another reason why drinking tea slows down your water consumption.

In other words, if you drink hot drinks like tea, that is fine as long as you are not drinking your one cup over a period of two hours while missing out on your water! You can enjoy your tea over a period of a few hours as long as you are drinking your regular water (regardless of its temperature) while you are enjoying your tea drinking ritual!

Dr. Sharif