Water is virtually everywhere. It covers more than 75 percent of the earth’s surface. We swim and bathe in it. We use it for washing our clothes and watering our gardens. And, of course, we drink it.

But do we drink enough of this amazing liquid? Water is a life sustainer of the natural world. Under most circumstances, the human body cannot survive more than a few days without water. Water is the second most important substance for life (oxygen being the first).Water not only quenches our thirst, it facilitates digestion and regulates body temperature. Water in the bloodstream carries nutrients and oxygen to every cell. Water assists our organs in removing toxins and other wastes. Water lubricates joints and gives flexibility to muscles and. Virtually every action the body performs requires water.

So how much is enough? Most people have heard the “eight glasses a day” recommendation. But does it really make sense for a 100 pound person and a 300 pound person to need the same amount? It seems that a better standard (one that is gaining popularity) is to consume one half your body weight in ounces. For example, a 200 pound person would drink 100 ounces of water daily. (If your numbers aren’t round and you aren’t keen on doing the math, visit www.calculateMe.com).

Is it possible to drink too much water? Yes. Drinking too much water too quickly can dilute the blood’s content of salt to dangerously low levels that may cause illness or death. As with most other things in life, a little common sense goes a long way. So does listening to your body. If you’re not used to drinking water, start slowly. Just remember that the loss of a sense of thirst is actually one symptom of mild dehydration, along with headaches, fatigue and yellow urine. You don’t have to wait for cracked lips and dry skin to be dehydrated (www.improving-health-and-energy.com).

What if you don’t like water? Does scientific research actually prove the widely-claimed health benefits? Currently, there aren’t enough quality studies to conclusively prove (or deny) the health benefits of drinking enough water, especially the claims related to preventing cancer and managing weight. Why have so few studies been done? Think about it…who wants to fund a study where there is so little potential for making money?

In this situation, a good piece of advice might be: Just try it. Drinking water isn’t expensive, has no negative side effects (if done sensibly), isn’t painful, complicated or even inconvenient. (If you think you’ll be running to the bathroom too much just remember that when your body realizes it’s going to get all the water it needs on a regular basis it will adjust and work more efficiently.)

If, after a trial period, you feel better – great! If not, just stop.  Really, what do you have to lose?