Q: I'm following the anti-candida diet and working hard
at developing a routine of taking supplements regularly.
My doctor keeps recommending that I drink more water. Can
you explain why this is so important? Would this have anything
to do with my fatigue or depression?
Mercola Answers: We can exist without food for
months, but without water we can only survive for a few
days. If this alone isn’t enough to convince you of
the importance of water, consider that your body is made
up mostly of water, which:
essential for digestion, nutrient absorption and elimination
Helps control the body's temperature
Lubricates and cushions joints
Keeps the skin healthy
Helps remove toxins from your body
all of these are important for anyone, and the toxin elimination
is particularly important if you are addressing issues of
surprisingly, water is thought of as the second most essential
ingredient for life (the first is oxygen), and not drinking
enough of it can certainly cause fatigue and even depression,
but there can be many other causes for these conditions
as well that you may want to look into.
Water is an integral part of your body’s daily functions.
It is first used by your body’s major organs and anything
left over goes toward hydrating your skin. This is why people
who are dehydrated may develop dry, flaky skin.
You may already know that your body is mostly water, but
more specifically water makes up:
About 90 percent of your blood
75 percent of your brain and muscles
25 percent of body fat
22 percent of bone
I don’t believe the conventional wisdom that everyone
needs to drink eight glasses of water a day. I used to advise
that people follow an even more refined rule of thumb--for
every 50 pounds of body weight you carry, drink one quart
of spring or filtered water per day. This would increase
daily water intake to 12 to 16 glasses for most of us.
However, I have further refined my recommendations to use
the color of your urine as a guide to how much water you
should be drinking. As long as you are not taking riboflavin
(vitamin B2), which fluoresces and turns your urine bright
yellow (it is also in most multi-vitamins), then your urine
should be a very light-colored yellow. If it is a deep yellow
then you are likely not drinking enough water. You should
adjust your water intake accordingly and doing so should
ensure that you stay well hydrated.
Thirst is also an excellent guide to how much water you
When your body begins to lose from 1 percent to 2 percent
of its total water, your thirst mechanism lets you know
that it’s time to drink some water. If you are healthy,
then drinking whenever you feel thirsty should be an adequate
guide of how much water you need. You can confirm whether
you are drinking enough water by looking at the color of
your urine, as mentioned above.
If you are following an anti-candida diet you will want
to be sure not to drink any sweetened beverages, as candida
thrives on sugar. Of course, just about everyone will benefit
from this recommendation as well!
The type of water you drink is also extremely important.
The water must be pure, meaning it is free from chlorine,
heavy metals, bacteria and other contaminants. I do not
recommend drinking tap water or distilled water and contrary
to the traditional belief, it’s also important to
avoid fluoridated water. Instead, I recommend spring water
or filtered water. For much more detail on these recommendations
I urge you to read the popular Mercola.com
article, “Drink More Spring or Filtered Water
to Improve Every Facet of Your Health.”
If you pay attention to the color of your urine and drink
enough water to keep it a pale yellow color, then your body
should be receiving all the water it needs. Exercise or
other strenuous activity will increase your water needs,
as will hot weather. Elderly people should also make a point
to drink plenty of water regularly throughout the day as
the thirst mechanism works less efficiently as we grow older.
The bottom line is that water is indeed a necessary and
important part of the anti-candida diet and any diet, but
don’t get too worried about measuring the amount of
water you drink every day. Drink regularly throughout the
day and always when you are thirsty, and again make sure
your urine is a light, pale color.
Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder of
world’s most visited natural/alternative health website
with over 35,000 pages of health information and home of
the free “e-Healthy News You Can Use” newsletter
with over 225,000 subscribers. An Illinois licensed medical
physician, he is trained in both conventional and natural
healthcare, has been in practice over two decades, and is
also the founder/director of The Optimal Wellness Center
in Chicago, one of the nation’s leading natural health