Winter is here, and with it lots of wet weather. How appropriate that Chinese Medicine, the element associated with winter is water and its organs are the Kidneys.
Most people I ask about their water intake say they know they should drink more water, but don’t. In Chinese Medicine, there is no standard answer to the question “how much water should I drink?’ Rather it depends on each person’s constitution. Someone who tends toward dryness and heat would generally benefit from drinking lots of water. People who tend toward dampness and cold still need to stay well hydrated, but their needs will be less. That being said, most people I see, tend to be under-hydrated. Symptoms of being under-hydrated vary, but can include low grade headaches, fatigue, dizziness, irritability and more.
Remember that caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body. For every cup of coffee, black tea, soda or alcohol you drink, you need to drink one glass of water to just “break even”. If your body does well with 6-8 glasses of water a day, and you drink 2 cups of coffee, you actually need to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. By the way, herbal tea counts as water, though green tea, while containing much less caffeine than black tea or coffee, still
has caffeine and can contribute to dehydration in some people.
Pay particular attention to the first half of your day, especially if you start the day with coffee or black tea. Some people can make it all the way to the middle of the day or later without taking in any water, which means their last hydration was sometime in the evening before. Start drinking water early in the day
Enjoy your winter season, and remember, that this is a time to withdraw and go inside, so that in the spring you can plant new seeds, which than in the summer can come to full blossom.