Most people don’t consume enough water. This is evident by the number of people who complain about headaches, lack of energy, sleepiness mid-day, and other easily remedied conditions that proper hydration can address. Yet, most people grab a pill, energy bar or some type of caffeinated drink to give them a much needed boost.

Amazingly, water could more than likely fix the problem. That’s not to say water will fix 100% of the health problems we deal with, but lack of water can create preventable health issues.

How Much is Enough?

You’ve probably heard of the “8x8 rule” – that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day for good health. This is a great baseline, and depending on your activity level and outdoor temperature, you may need more.

Some people use juice and soda for their fluid intake. "Juice and soda can count as fluid, however they also add extra calories and over time may lead to weight gain," said Antonella Apicella, a nutritionist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City. "Water is the most hydrating fluid there is."

According to Mayo Clinic, “For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.” (
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Adequate Intake

And the Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly three liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day, and for women it’s 2.2 liters (about 9 cups). (

Although the 8x8 rule doesn’t exactly match the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Reframe it for yourself this way: Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of your best beverages each day.

Those beverages provide the same benefits as water, and the harmful beverages that cause health care professionals to stress drinking water over other beverages are not going to rate on your Food Codes plan.

The Scientific Community Disagrees on Consumption Levels

Yet there is disagreement in the scientific community about how much water we should consume. You’ve probably read articles that contradicted each other. Barbara Rolls, Professor of Nutrition Sciences at Pennsylvania State University, said, “Water requirements depend so much on outside temperature, activity levels and other factors that there isn’t one rule that fits everybody.” (Dan Negoianu and Stanley Goldfarb, “Just Add Water,” Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2008,

Research done by Professor Stanley Goldfarb, physician and nephrologist at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues, as reported in the same article cited above, found: There is no clear evidence of benefit from drinking increased amounts of water.

Although we wish we could demolish all of the urban myths found on the Internet regarding the benefits of supplemental water ingestion, we concede there is also no clear evidence of lack of benefit. In fact, there is simply a lack of evidence in general.

Some Liquids CAUSE Dehydration

It is known that drinking alcohol dehydrates the body, and too much coffee or black tea has a diuretic effect on the kidneys, though there is disagreement about whether this is detrimental to health.

So, it’s important to include plain water in your fluid intake. And foods with high water content may hydrate your body better at times than water.

Water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, celery, and cucumber are like food and drink combined. They provide minerals, natural salts, sugars, vitamins, amino acids, and nutrients that have yet to be discovered.

Soups, stews, and broths are loaded with a bounty of nutrition and hydrating nutrients. Our mothers and grandmothers knew this and used carcasses and leftovers to make nutritious broths and soups. Sipping a mug of vegetable or bone broth has beneficial hydrating qualities as well as being nutritious and delicious.

The perplexing question is, “How can you know how much water and liquid you need and what kind of water is best for you?”

Muscle-Testing for Hydration

Muscle-testing is one of the most accurate ways to know exactly what you need. Muscle testing is a procedure where a person contracts (or uses) a muscle and the tester presses against that muscle testing it for strength.

“Muscle testing is based on the theory that you can tap into your subconscious mind to get answers to questions about your mental and physical well-being. Essentially, the idea is that you will have a weak response to something that does not enhance or sustain your body's energy, and a strong response to something that is good for you. Don't use self-muscle testing as a substitute for professional medical or psychiatric evaluation, or to diagnose serious mental or physical conditions.”

As you muscle-test ask:

• Am I taking in enough liquids?
• Are there certain hydrating foods that I need at this time?
• Am I drinking enough water?
• How much water do I need to drink daily? Six cups? Eight cups? Ten cups? [etc.] (This varies more often than food requirements, so ask often.)
• Am I drinking the right kind of water? (If the answer is no, ask what kind of water is best.)
• Is the water in my home okay to drink? (If no, look into filtering your water, and muscle-test for what kind of filter to purchase.)
• Is it okay for me to drink with meals?
• Is water with ice okay?

Ask any other questions you have about water. If you drink water from sources other than your home, such as water delivered from a water company, muscle-test that water as well.

The bottom line is this; it’s up to you to take control of your health and what your body requires. The more proactive you are, the healthier you feel, look and act. After all, isn’t that what makes life a joy… knowing we are doing everything possible to live fully and with as much vibrancy as possible?

For more information on water consumption and muscle testing, get your copy of The Food Codes from

Author's Bio: 

Lana Nelson is a Certified Emotion and Body Code consultant, Lana has developed one of the easiest techniques on the planet to help anyone discover what foods really are “good for you!”

Access her FREE eBook - The Food Codes™ Top 10 Energy Foods.