Our bodies are about 65 percent water, which – interestingly enough, is about the same percentage as that of water on the Earth’s surface.

We also know that our ancestors came from the sea, and they learned to bring this water with them when they moved up on dry land. This mobile ocean is still a part of each of us today.

Life is flow, and water supports this flow in a very concrete way.

Simple guideline

As usual, the simplest approach is often the best. My guideline is to drink enough to maintain light colored or near-clear urine. This approach automatically takes into account many of the varying needs dependent on temperature, physical activity and so on.


I notice a significant difference between the days my water intake is lower than this, and the days where my intake is around this level. In general, there seems to be more flow, space and ease when the water intake is higher, and more of a sense of multiple-level congestion if it is not.

I notice more energy at a physical level if I am well hydrated. If I am dehydrated, everything seems to slow down and I notice that my digestive system in particular seems more clogged up.

I also notice a tendency to go on the “inside” of contractions if I am dehydrated. I identify with and get caught up in them more easily. The space to allow them to come and go on their own seems less accessible.

Adaptive water monitoring system

After doing this more conscientiously for a while, I also notice that my internal water monitoring system seems to adapt. Now, there are clear signs whenever I need to drink more water – and if I follow the signs my intake is around the 80-85 ounces recommended (see below).

Five elements view of water needs

In the Five Elements acupuncture world, they recommend drinking a lot of water.

More precisely, they recommend drinking the number of ounces that comes from taking your body weight in pounds and dividing it in half. So, a body weight of 165lb gives 82-83 ounces of water. It is of course only a rough number, and I am sure it changes with persperation, ambient temperature, humidity, activity level, age, gender, health and so on.

Health claims

And as with anything in the health world, there is a range of views and claims about the impact of dehydration and being well hydrated, ranging from the conservative and mainstream, to those used to promote products, to the cure-all and more outrageous claims.

What is certain is that water is essential for our health and that drinking a ample amount of clean water has a wide range of health benefits.

Global issues

With our increasing global population and changing patterns of rainfall (due to climate change, regional deforestation and so on), there is no wonder that access to clean fresh water is seen as a potentially significant contributor to international conflict later in this century…

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