On one small line at the bottom of my intake form I ask clients how many glasses of water they consume on a daily basis. The responses vary from 8 to none to ‘does that include coffee? While the remaining 7 pages contain vital information, the question of water consumption is fundamental to the success of your care and is highly indicative of your current self-awareness with respect to your health.

Imagine a 10L fish tank. Now picture the tank with two gold fish and only 3L of water. Despite the filter and perhaps a few of those slime eating creatures, the tank, the filter and the water are quickly over-run in toxic bio debris.  Once you add an additional 7L of water, the gunk is easily diluted and the filters are on top of their game. Our bodies operate in much the same way. We are a 10L fish tank desperate for a container full of water. Our filters work best when there is sufficient solute to wash away debris, hormones and mediators of inflammation.

If we are going to talk about the benefits of movement or the power of detoxification, we need to get one thing straight, your body requires hydration for optimal functionality.  This may not be the most cutting-edge, inspirational or earth shattering advice, but let me tell you, good water consumers are few and far between.

Here is what you need to know:

Coffee is not water it is a diuretic – it will dehydrate you.

Alcohol is not water it is a diuretic – it will dehydrate you.

Black tea, Diet Coke and Vitamin Water are not water either.

Oh and crystal light is nothing short of a carrier for flavored aspartame. It falls into the same category as Diet Coke. (Which is not a good category)

Buy yourself a metal or glass water bottle and fill it throughout the day. There are lots of fancy filtered waters that may have tremendous health benefits, but until you are hydrated, these finer details are not nearly as important as getting the water into your system.

Plastic water bottles are bad for the planet and even worse for your health. Choose tap water over a plastic water bottle, please.

Aim to consume ½ your weight in ounces. As a rough goal, you should be hitting 1.5 – 2L of water daily.

Sparkling water is ok, but moderation is important. The chronic consumption of sparkling water can displace important minerals. No more than 1/8th of your daily water consumption should be sparkling.

Drinking more will make you pee more frequently. This means your filters (kidneys) are working. This is a good thing.

I know some of you dislike plain water. Try adding some mint, berries, lemon or cucumber. Water is more important to your health than the detail of palate and preference. As my dad often says – get over it.

2013 health goal, day 1: Increase your daily water consumption to 1.5-2L daily.