This Month: Q & A with Dr. Joseph Mercola

Dr. Joseph Mercola, discusses the importance of water in the treatment of candida-related disorders.

Keep your questions coming. Write to and we’ll answer as many as possible each month through this ASK AN EXPERT section. So check back often.


Q: I'm following the anti-candida diet and working hard at developing a routine of taking supplements regularly. My doctor keeps recommending that I drink more water. Can you explain why this is so important? Would this have anything to do with my fatigue or depression?

Dr. Mercola Answers: We can exist without food for months, but without water we can only survive for a few days. If this alone isn’t enough to convince you of the importance of water, consider that your body is made up mostly of water, which:

  • Is essential for digestion, nutrient absorption and elimination
  • Aids circulation
  • Helps control the body's temperature
  • Lubricates and cushions joints
  • Keeps the skin healthy
  • Helps remove toxins from your body

Clearly all of these are important for anyone, and the toxin elimination is particularly important if you are addressing issues of yeast overgrowth.

Not surprisingly, water is thought of as the second most essential ingredient for life (the first is oxygen), and not drinking enough of it can certainly cause fatigue and even depression, but there can be many other causes for these conditions as well that you may want to look into.

Water is an integral part of your body’s daily functions. It is first used by your body’s major organs and anything left over goes toward hydrating your skin. This is why people who are dehydrated may develop dry, flaky skin.

You may already know that your body is mostly water, but more specifically water makes up:

  • About 90 percent of your blood
  • 75 percent of your brain and muscles
  • 25 percent of body fat
  • 22 percent of bone

However, I don’t believe the conventional wisdom that everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day. I used to advise that people follow an even more refined rule of thumb--for every 50 pounds of body weight you carry, drink one quart of spring or filtered water per day. This would increase daily water intake to 12 to 16 glasses for most of us.

However, I have further refined my recommendations to use the color of your urine as a guide to how much water you should be drinking. As long as you are not taking riboflavin (vitamin B2), which fluoresces and turns your urine bright yellow (it is also in most multi-vitamins), then your urine should be a very light-colored yellow. If it is a deep yellow then you are likely not drinking enough water. You should adjust your water intake accordingly and doing so should ensure that you stay well hydrated.

Thirst is also an excellent guide to how much water you need.

When your body begins to lose from 1 percent to 2 percent of its total water, your thirst mechanism lets you know that it’s time to drink some water. If you are healthy, then drinking whenever you feel thirsty should be an adequate guide of how much water you need. You can confirm whether you are drinking enough water by looking at the color of your urine, as mentioned above.

If you are following an anti-candida diet you will want to be sure not to drink any sweetened beverages, as candida thrives on sugar. Of course, just about everyone will benefit from this recommendation as well!

The type of water you drink is also extremely important. The water must be pure, meaning it is free from chlorine, heavy metals, bacteria and other contaminants. I do not recommend drinking tap water or distilled water and contrary to the traditional belief, it’s also important to avoid fluoridated water. Instead, I recommend spring water or filtered water. For much more detail on these recommendations I urge you to read the popular article, “Drink More Spring or Filtered Water to Improve Every Facet of Your Health.”

If you pay attention to the color of your urine and drink enough water to keep it a pale yellow color, then your body should be receiving all the water it needs. Exercise or other strenuous activity will increase your water needs, as will hot weather. Elderly people should also make a point to drink plenty of water regularly throughout the day as the thirst mechanism works less efficiently as we grow older.

The bottom line is that water is indeed a necessary and important part of the anti-candida diet and any diet, but don’t get too worried about measuring the amount of water you drink every day. Drink regularly throughout the day and always when you are thirsty, and again make sure your urine is a light, pale color.

Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder of, the world’s most visited natural/alternative health website with over 35,000 pages of health information and home of the free “e-Healthy News You Can Use” newsletter with over 225,000 subscribers. An Illinois licensed medical physician, he is trained in both conventional and natural healthcare, has been in practice over two decades, and is also the founder/director of The Optimal Wellness Center in Chicago, one of the nation’s leading natural health clinics.


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