Increased Water Consumption

Increased Water Consumption: Overview

Drinking enough water is a challenge for most people.  Most of us rely strictly on thirst as a reminder to drink, and a mild thirst is an easy sensation to ignore.  Relying on thirst alone is usually not enough to make a sufficient difference in how much water you are consuming.  Some additional measure is usually required in order to establish this new habit.

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Here are some ideas to help you remember:

  • Carrying a water bottle with you.
  • Drinking at set times of the day.
  • Drinking at random times of the day.  For example, every time the phone rings think "When was my last drink of water?"
  • If you are working in front of a computer screen all day, you can set alarms every couple of hours to remind you to take a drink.
  • If you have regular breaks at work, develop a habit of starting each break with a drink.
  • Every time you think of drinking a soda, drink water instead.


There is no clear evidence that drinking water during meals hinders digestion.  Drinking liquids with meals is usually a matter of preference.  However, if your digestion is weak, it is probably best to drink an hour or two after a meal.

Do not forget to increase salt consumption along with the extra water.  When drinking lots of water throughout the day, salts (especially sodium) are washed through the kidneys and voided.  Increasing salt in the diet helps prevent any imbalance that could result from significant water consumption and low salt intake.  For every two quarts of water consumed per day consider an additional 12 teaspoon of salt added either to the water or food.

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Increased Water Consumption:

Increased Water Consumption can help with the following:


Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever

Dehydration causes the body to produce more histamine, which in turn can cause strong hay fever symptoms.  Increased water consumption can help prevent dehydration and clear the nasal passage.


Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)

The first step in treating hypotension is generally to increase fluid intake.  Patients who have discovered the importance of drinking fluids regularly throughout the day seem to do better than those who don't take this task seriously.  Drink a minimum of eight glasses per day of non-alcoholic fluids.  Sports drinks that are high in sodium and potassium are recommended, especially during exercise or in hot weather.

Coronary Disease / Heart Attack

A Seventh Day Adventist study found that those who drank 5 glasses of water per day have on average half the cardiac mortality and half the fatal stroke rate of the general population.



The treatment for dehydration is of course very simple: drink more water!

Excess Sugar Consumption

Whenever you feel thirsty, consider substituting water for sweet drinks.  Water is far better at satisfying thirst, and by washing sugar from the teeth can neutralize its effects.


Clostridium Difficile Infection

Increase fluid intake to counteract dehydration from diarrhea.


Drinking water adds fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass.  People who have problems with constipation should drink enough water every day, at least eight 8-ounce glasses depending on weight.  Other liquids such as coffee and soft drinks contain caffeine and seem to have a dehydrating effect.

Gastric/Peptic/Duodenal Ulcers

Consuming up to 12 cups of water per day can eliminate the helicobacter infection when present.  Drink lots of water, golden seal tea, and flax seed tea.

Hiatal Hernia

Some people are helped by drinking 16oz (half liter) of water after a meal.  This gives the stomach extra weight which may pull it downward and allow better closure of the lower esophageal sphincter.  Additional downward pressure can be achieved by jumping off a chair after a meal before or after drinking the 16oz of water.  The sudden stop on landing has been shown to reduce hiatal hernias and also caused heartburn symptoms to subside.

Heartburn / GERD / Acid Reflux

Additional water intake can help resolve heartburn symptoms.


Fibrocystic Breast Disease

Drink plenty of pure water to prevent constipation and reap the benefits of high-fiber foods.

Female Infertility

To flush toxins from your system, drink eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily.



If the patient and doctor choose long-term follow-up over surgery, the patient should try to drink lots of water, get plenty of exercise, and avoid certain diuretics, such as the thiazides.




Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The mainstay of prevention is to keep the urine dilute by drinking fluids and urinating often.  Added water consumption during an infection will help flush out the problem bacteria.  Repeated infections may require that routine water consumption be increased to prevent their recurrence.

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Drinking more water alone has resolved many cases of H. Pylori infection.  The suggested amount is 1 quart per 50 pounds of body weight or generally about 12 glasses per day.  Most ulcers can be treated with water consumption and regular use of a good probiotic product.  (Am J Gastroenterol May 1999;94: pp.1200-2.)

Cold Or Flu

During times of illness it is especially important to maintain fluid intake.  Water is best, but if any juice is used during this time, fresh vegetable juice is better than sweet fruit juice.


Persons with mumps should drink plenty of fluids and get bed rest.

Lab Values



Dehydration is an often-overlooked trigger and cause of headaches.  A headache that is due to dehydration can usually be treated by simply drinking water.  Headache symptoms should improve within 30 minutes to a couple of hours.  Sports drinks and other electrolyte/carbohydrate-containing drinks are also a good option.


Susceptibility To Hangovers

Drink lots of water – at least twice the amount of water to alcohol.


Neck / Spine

Low Back Pain

Drink lots of water to maintain optimal hydration for disc integrity, and help reduce any acid buildup in muscles.  Often two large glasses of water helps within minutes.  Consistent rehydration may eliminate and prevent future low back pain.

Nervous System

Not recommended for
Seizure Disorder

Studies show that water intoxication increases susceptibility to seizures even in normal individuals.  Through a complex process, excessive water intake can lower sodium content in body fluids and predispose one to seizures.

Organ Health

Kidney Stones (Urolithiasis)

Prevention is very important especially in those with a high likelihood of developing this condition since the recurrence rate of stone formation is very high.  Drinking a lot of water is the best preventative measure: drink enough to produce approximately 2 liters (one-half gallon) of urine per day.  Adequate fluid intake helps prevent kidney stone problems by allowing most small stones to pass through.


Acute Bronchitis

Ensuring plenty of fluids prevents the mucus thickening associated with dehydration and eases mucus removal in patients with bronchitis.

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Increased Water Consumption can help prevent the following:



A Seventh Day Adventist study found that those who drank 5 glasses of water per day have on average half the cardiac mortality and half the fatal stroke rate of the general population.

Organ Health

Tonsil Stones

Drinking plenty of water hydrates the throat and prevents the formation of tonsil stones.  Carbonated drinks, preferably seltzer water, tonic water or club soda, have been known to help dislodge tonsil stones.

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May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with; often prevents
Moderately useful:
often helps with; often prevents
Very useful: is highly recommended for
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is highly recommended for
Caution: is sometimes not recommended for
is sometimes not recommended for
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