But what is the right amount?
You have been told for many years that drinking water and fluids is extremely important. Of course I agree with this. But how much is sufficient? A consensus has established itself in the last decades that there is actually no upper limit on how much to drink. This advice, though perhaps well-intentioned, was not substantiated by experience nor studies and certainly not by any health benefits. From time to time, someone will tell me that it is healthy to drink as much as possible even when one is not thirsty. The sensation of thirst – as suggested by some – is already a state of emergency that one should try to avoid. There are certainly some people who are so out of touch with their bodies and needs that they neglect their bodies’ signals. They only become aware of how thirsty they are while drinking. For these people, it is certainly recommended to often sipp tea or another beverage in order to even notice how thirsty they are. Yet, for many other people this is not the case. People who are not thirsty should not drink!
No animal drinks if it is not thirsty. The same is true for eating. Do not eat or drink if the body does not demand it! Your body is the only guiding authority that should determine when to eat or drink. Most of us are far removed from this maxim. Many people agree with this principle when it comes to eating although they often do not act accordingly. A mindset has established itself in regard to drinking that is far removed from natural and healthy behavior. Do you know of any animal that runs to the water hole every half hour because its mouth is dry? I know many people who are almost in a panic if they do not have a water bottle nearby and cannot drink all the while.
Individual drinking behavior depends on various factors: As humans, we all have different constitutions. The warmer yang constitutions, which are more mobile and warmer and at times have a quick temper, require more liquids because their heated constitutions cause them to lose more liquids. They have a greater desire and need for taking in fluids. The cooler yin constitutions, on the other hand, have a lesser urge to drink and also require less. The motto “It’s always good to drink as much as possible” colors everyone with the same brush and can cause severe damage. Naturally, climate, the type of work, age and food intake also play an important role in relation to fluid intake. Listen to your body’s thirst and hunger signals!
The concentration and color of urine provides a good indication for appropriate liquid intake. Urine should be yellow and have a medium concentration. A natural and healthy yellow is different from intensely yellow-colored urine, which indicates a high concentration and essentially looks like beer. However, healthy yellow urine is also different from watery urine that is almost colorless. Regrettably, this pale urine is the declared goal of many water fanatics who think that it is a sign of good health. As so often, a healthy medium is best, which is determined according to the color of urine, body temperature and the frequency and urgency of urination. In fact, veterinarian doctors are very concerned about the health of any animal that shows too pale urin! The sensation of thirst already provides us with a good indication. However, thirst can change and no longer indicate an actual physical need due to the consumption of strongly spicy or salty foods and ready-made products, which are usually high in sugar and salt, as well as nicotine, alcohol and other toxins and medications. In exceptional cases, it may be beneficial to drink a lot in order to “build up a reserve”, e.g. prior to severe exertion, an athletic activity or when exposed or prior to exposure to intense heat. Animals in the desert do this as well. They drink a lot and store it in their bodies when they come upon a water source.
The following principle generally applies: You should eat more and drink less if you are cold and have cold hands and feet, if your urine is the color of water and if you are constantly running to the bathroom. Many people have been infected by the propaganda of water fanatics. In principle, their rule states: The more you drink, the better. At this point, I would like to stress the following point: The more liquid we consume and store in the body, the colder we will be. Even warm teas after an initial warming sensation produce the same cooling effect as cold beverages. A low temperature contributes to a sympathicotonic state, i.e. to tension and stress. This state of stress prevents deacidification and detoxification; yet this is exactly what most people want to achieve by drinking large amounts of water. They want to detox, deacidify and “rinse the kidneys”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The more water and liquid we drink, the more our kidneys have to work. It is never a good idea to overstrain weakened kidneys!
In fact, an opposite approach may be required: In my practice, I am achieving great results with so-called dry fasting, abstaining from food and liquid for 8-36 hours. Dry fasting achieves the following:
Dry fasting also benefits the kidneys and not by “rinsing” these with plenty of water. Furthermore, repeated dry fasting raises the body temperature.
A cold person should eat more salty, mineral-rich foods – and drink less. By salt I, of course, mean (Celtic) sea salt, rock salt and Himalayan salt. All other types of salt do not deserve this label. Table salt is a chemical waste product enriched with toxins that does not belong in our food or on our table!
You should drink more, preferably warm water or tea if you feel hot, specifically if you have hot hands and feet and your urine is concentrated and has a dark yellow color and smells sour, unpleasant or toxic. This ensures that you remain in a parasympathetic and relaxed state and are able to excrete more water as well as dissolved substances and toxins.
Observe how your body temperature changes after consuming a few cups of tea, a bowl of muesli, oatmeal and milk, maybe a glass of orange juice and half a melon for breakfast. In contrast, a hearty omelet with fried potatoes, eggs and ham will warm you up immensely. Take your body temperature 1 hour and then again 2 hours after breakfast or simply observe how cold or warm your hands and feet feel.
Health tip no. 2:
Your takeaway from this chapter should be to not drink excessively beyond what is good for you.Your thirst, body temperature, urine color and the frequency and urgency to urinate provide an indication on how much to drink.Depending on constitution, metabolism, diet and activity levels, the drinking volume can vary from 800 ml to 3 liters. Be mindful of your own body, and do not blindly follow general principles.
Excerpt from the book “Uwe Karstädt: 98.6° F – Ideal Body Temperature”
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