Character of a man drinking a giant glass of water illustration

(The following is an excerpt from The “Plan A” Diet)

How much water do I need to drink?

Are you feeling tired, restless, or irritable? Do you have brain fog? Has your skin lost some of its elasticity? This sounds like a precursor to an advertisement for some miracle drug—but it’s possible you may simply be dehydrated and need to drink more water. Dehydration is quite common in the United States, with some estimates citing 75 percent of the population as being chronically dehydrated.[i] That means that 75 percent of us have a net fluid loss due to lack of water consumption and the possible diuretic effects of drinking caffeinated beverages and excessive alcohol.

Are you properly hydrated?

Water is an often-overlooked component in most diet plans, but I’ve given it priority status on The “Plan A” Diet food pyramid for good reason—daily water intake is crucial for good health. Our brains, muscles, organs, and cells depend on water to function properly. Water is necessary for proper digestion, absorption of nutrients, and to carry waste from our kidneys and livers. Water also helps our bodies convert glucose to energy. Lack of water contributes to several ailments including fatigue, joint pain, high blood pressure, compromised immune function, kidney disease, and weight gain.

The human body is 65 percent to 75 percent water, and several things happen when we fall below that level. According to Dr. James Marcum, when we lose up to just 2 percent of our water, our judgment can become seriously impaired; losing up to 5 percent of water can result in thirst, weakness, nausea, irritability, increased pulse rate, and flushed skin. If we lose up to 10 percent of our water, we may experience headaches, dizziness, and tingling in the limbs. Vision may blur, skin may turn blue, and some may lose the ability to speak or walk clearly. Losing up to 15 percent of our water can result in severe vision and hearing impairment, swelling of the tongue, the inability to swallow, painful urination, and possible signs of delirium. If we lose more than 15 percent of our water, we die.[ii]

So how much water do you need? There are many theories out there, and the most common suggestion is eight 8-ounce glasses per day (64 oz.) for everyone. However, that recommendation may no longer hold water. Today’s rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces. A person weighing 150 pounds would need 75 ounces of water per day. Other authorities recommend between 8–11 daily cups for women and 10–15 daily cups for men. But that includes water from all sources, not just beverages. Subtracting the water we get from food plus the water our body makes, the recommendation translates into 4–7 cups for women and 6–11 cups for men, assuming only moderate physical activity at moderate ambient temperatures.[iii]

lime juice on drinking glass beside sliced limes

Drink enough water so that your urine is very light yellow. Your body will need more water if you’re in a hot climate, physically active, running a fever, or if you happen to be obese. You may want to consider filling bottles or a large empty container each morning with your daily need of clean water; that way you’ll know if you’re drinking what you need. If the budget allows, invest in a whole house water filter which will remove impurities and chemicals while retaining the water’s natural, essential minerals. Add fruit to your water if it will help you drink more. Keep in mind that watery foods such as broths, celery, and melons can contribute to your fluid intake as well.

And don’t forget the kiddos! Studies show that most children arrive at school in a state of mild dehydration that may negatively affect their scholastic performance.[iv] Like adults, children should drink at least half their weight in ounces.

Lastly, although daily fluid intake can come from both food and beverages, it’s important for health and weight management to drink water (or zero-calorie tea) as a replacement for soft drinks, energy drinks, and sugar-filled lattes. If you miss the fizziness of soda, try mixing carbonated water with just a bit of fruit juice.


PS: Let’s stay hydrated spiritually, too! Drink freely from the Water of Life – which is a metaphor referring to how the Holy Spirit works in our lives by providing spiritual cleansing and constant refreshment. This is only one such reference of spiritual water:

It is finished! I am the A and the Z—the Beginning and the End. I will give to the thirsty the springs of the Water of Life—as a gift! (Rev. 21:6, TLB)

[i] Medical Daily, “75 percent of Americans May Suffer From Chronic Dehydration, According to Doctors,” dated July 3, 2013; accessed September 5, 2018.

[ii] Dr. James L. Marcum, MD, Biblical Prescriptions for Life, Small Group Study Guide (Ooltewah, TN: Heartwise Ministries, 2016), 34.

[iii] Dr. Michael Greger, “How Much Water Should We Drink Every Day?” dated May 25, 2017; accessed September 5, 2018.

[iv] Dr. Michael Greger, “Schoolchildren Should Drink More Water,” dated November 21, 2013; accessed September 5, 2018.

Are you properly hydrated?

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Cyd Notter
Cyd Notter is a graduate of the Center for Nutrition Studies and a certified instructor for several dietary courses, including The Starch Solution, Food Over Medicine, and Women’s Health. She has also successfully completed courses in Nutrition for a Healthy Heart and Dietary Therapy for Reversing Common Diseases. Cyd has developed and offers a variety of health and cooking classes, provides nutritional coaching on both individual and corporate levels, speaks to local groups, and has worked with school district employees and a hospital’s fitness center. Her column titled “The Nutrition Coach”—which ran in three local newspapers for seven years—featured general dietary advice, recipes, and answers to reader’s questions. Several of her articles have also been published in Cape Style Magazine, a Florida-based online publication. Combining her decades-long study of both nutrition and scripture, Cyd founded The ‘Plan A’ Diet™ to illustrate the correlations between biblical principles and healthy eating and to encourage Christians to take an active role in their health. Her “Wonderfully Made” ministry offers nutrition coaching, health and cooking classes, and weight loss challenges. Notter’s past accolades include being named Woman of the Year by the Morris Business and Professional Women in 1998, Entrepreneur of the Year by the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce in 2000, and having her business featured on several occasions in Décor magazine. She and her husband Steve enjoy outdoor activities, classic movies, and old Volkswagens. Detailed Version: Founder and Author of The “Plan A” Diet™ A graduate of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies Certified Instructor for the following courses Dr. John McDougall’s “The Starch Solution” Course Dr. Pam Popper’s Food over Medicine Course Dr. Pam Popper’s Women’s Health Course Completion of Dr. Campbell’s course: Nutrition for a Healthy Heart Completion of Dr. John McDougall’s course: Dietary Therapy for Reversing Common Diseases Completion of Facilitator Training for CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) Development/Instructor of Health and Cooking classes offered throughout the community Past Affiliations: Columnist for the Free Press Newspaper (2010 – 2017) Former Nutrition Coach/Cooking Instructor for staff and members of Riverside Hospital’s Fitness Center Worked for six years as a Certified Health Educator for Wellness Forum Health Worked with a local school District offering monthly classes to teachers and district employees Previously submitted articles on a monthly basis for a community magazine Has developed a ministry called “Wonderfully Made” – delivering health and cooking classes and helping Christians to lose weight/regain health. How I got here………….. I became a vegetarian in 1991, however, my diet was very unhealthy; even though I had stopped eating meat, my diet still included lots of dairy, oils, and processed foods. At that time I thought I was doing all of the right things, and looking back now, I realize I was living in a complete state of ignorance. Around 1999, I stumbled upon a 4-week health class being offered by The Wellness Forum (now known as Wellness Forum Health), which is based in Columbus Ohio. I attended the class in order to have a night out with the girls, not realizing that my entire life path was about to change. The Wellness Forum founder, Dr. Pam Popper, is a no-nonsense person who dives into medical research and really gets to the bottom of things. I liked the fact that the teachings were based on long-term, independent research, and also on the healthiest populations in the world. I went on to host several subsequent classes over the years, and in 2009, I became a Certified Health Educator to conduct classes on their behalf. The materials rang true with me then, and they ring even truer with me today as the scientific evidence continually mounts. With a dire family history of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other ailments, my motivation to consume a whole food, plant-based diet is to stay off medications, stay out of the medical system as much as possible, and enjoy freedom in later life…. freedom to travel and hike, and freedom to live independently in old age. I can personally attest to the positive changes that result from adopting this lifestyle, as my cholesterol dropped 60 points rather quickly to a healthy level of 150, my bone health has improved, and my frequent bouts with colds have been almost totally eliminated. In 2011, I was certified in plant-based nutrition by the Center for Nutrition Studies, under Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of the China Study). Most of the doctors teaching that course are well known and have been featured in the wonderful documentary “Forks over Knives”. Later, in 2013, I became certified by Dr. John McDougall to conduct classes based on his best selling book, ‘The Starch Solution”. I plan to keep current with what the latest research shows regarding the healthiest diet for humans – which is a whole-food, plant-based, no-added-oils diet. Most recently in 2015, I completed Dr. Popper’s “Food Over Medicine” course as well as her “Women’s Health” Course, which further solidifies the fact that a whole food, plant-based, no-oil diet is the optimal way to eat. As a long-time student of nutrition as well as a long-time student of the bible, I began to see many correlations between biblical principles and healthy eating; principles such as stewardship, reaping what we sow, and the fact if you are a Christian, your body is a temple of the Lord and His most intimate gift. In 2013 I was led to finally begin writing these truths down in what has become The “Plan A” Diet™, which is a book in progress. More information about can be found on The “Plan A” Diet™ tab. My clients and friends who stay compliant with this way of eating have also seen tremendous health improvement; they are typically off most or all of their meds within a short time. They feel wonderful, and weight loss is a natural byproduct. Go to the “Testimonials” tab to read some incredible (but not surprising) stories. I would love to show you how to improve your health without the use of drugs or surgery. I offer coaching -both locally and by phone – and offer local health and cooking classes in the areas surrounding Wilmington, IL and Cape Coral, FL. I would welcome the opportunity to present a topic to any local groups as well. If you work in a company that would like a REAL wellness program, one that will truly provide results, I can help with that too. Thanks again for visiting! Check out our articles, recipes, and upcoming classes. And be sure to subscribe to our newsletter! Note: Information provided on this website is for general dietary purposes only and is not intended to be construed as personal medical advice. Please consult your physician for medical advice pertaining specifically to you.