Dehydration is bad for everyone, but it’s especially harmful for people with allergies and asthma. Dehydration may trigger or worsen asthma and increase your risk of respiratory infections. Keep in mind that you can double your benefits by “eating” your water in the form of water-rich fruits and vegetables. An apple or a tomatoe each contains about 4 ounces of water. Water, milk, juice, decaf coffee and tea (especially green tea), herbal tea, and soups all count toward your fluid quotient. By drinking as much water you can tolerate – even up to 20 glasses a day – you can help liquefy your mucous and help it drain better, suggest Wellington Tichenor, M.D., an allergist in New York City.
When researchers at the University of Buffalo studied the effects of dehydration on people with asthma, they found than it increases the risk of asthma attacks even in humid weather.
“No matter what, always drink plenty of water – at least 8 to 10 glasses a day – to keep secretions in your respir
atory tract fluid,” recommend Andrew Weil, M.D., director of the program in integrative medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tuscan. “Drinking plenty of water also speeds up the process of eliminating irritants and toxins from the body.”Individuals need different amount of water, however. In fact, the more you weight, the more water you lose. To determine how much water is optimal for you, follow these steps.
- Write down your weight in pounds.
- Multiply your weight by .04 , which equals pounds of water lost.
- Multiply the result of step 2 by 2 to determine the number of cups you need per day.
You will need to drink extra water when weather conditions are hot or dry and when you exercise. In addition, remember that caffeine and alcohol sap as much water out of you as they put in. To keep yourself from getting parched, drink an extra 1/2 cup of water for every cup you drink caffeinated or alcoholic beverages..
– Allergy Free Naturally by Rick Ansorge, Eric Metcalf and the Editors of Prevention Health Books / Rodale.