With two thirds of the earth’s surface covered by water and the human body consisting of 75 percent of it, it is evidently clear that water is one of the prime elements responsible for life on earth.
Water circulates through the land just as it does through the human body, transporting, dissolving, replenishing nutrients and organic matter, while carrying away waste material.
Water is the main source of energy for your body. Further, in the body, water regulates the activities of fluids, tissues, cells, lymph, blood and glandular secretions. Each of your cells work like hydroelectric dams. When you drink ample water, water flows into the cell and it turns the sodium potassium pump lodged in the cell membrane thereby generating energy in the form of ATP, GTP and calcium. Food mainly provides you essential nutrients and provides energy only as a secondary and alternative source working with water for it’s utilization.
An average adult body contains 42 litres of water and with just a small loss of 2.7 litres he or she can suffer from dehydration, displaying symptoms of irritability, fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, weakness, headaches and consequently reach a state of pathology.
Most of us know the dangers of dehydration, but do you know how to hydrate properly? In his book Dr. Colbert goes beyond explaining how much water we should drink each day and explains the science to ensure that your water isn’t doing more harm than good.
Dr F. Batmanghelidj, in his book ‘your body’s many cries for water’, gives a wonderful essay on water and its vital role in the health of a water ‘starved’ society. He writes: “Since the ‘water’ we drink provides for cell function and its volume requirements, the decrease in our daily water intake affects the efficiency of cell activity……..as a result chronic dehydration causes symptoms that equal disease…”
How much water should you drink a day and at what times?
- Take your weight divided by two and that is the number of ounces of water you should drink a day. If you feel you really cannot drink that much work gradually towards your goal. Eating ample amount of fruits and vegetables will give you a quart of water.
- Drinking water at the right times is crucial. Drink at least 2 cups of water first thing in the morning. Drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before meals and 1 cup 2 and a half hours after meals. The importance of the times to drink water will be explained later.
- Try not to drink water excessively past 7 as it can interfere with sleep.
How can dehydration be a root cause to asthma, obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol, cancer, a weak immune system and heartburn?
If you do not provide your body the amount of water it needs it goes into survival mode and produces “symptoms” of dehydration that we label as asthma, blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, heartburn, cancer. If you do not drink enough water your body will engaged in a drought management system and prioritize who gets the limited water supply and who doesn’t. Following are some of the issues that arise from dehydration, according to Dr Colbert.
Asthma – Histamine is produced when you are dehydrated. One of its job is to ration the water to high priority areas. What histamine also does is constrict your bronchioles in order to prevent water loss when you exhale. Your air sacs (alveoli) are made of very thin walls and need to be moist at all times so the narrowing of your bronchioles serves to protect the delicate air sacs from drying out from air flow.
Obesity – The thirst sensation and hunger pain originate from the same area in the brain. And the less water we drink the more we confuse the two. So many people first reach for food when they are actually thirsty. That is one reason why it is important to drink 30 minutes before meals. Your brain cells are practically the only cells in your body that does not need insulin to receive sugar. Your brain demands hydroelectric energy from water but if it’s not available it will use sugar as alternative source energy – hence you crave sugar and refined carbohydrates. After your brain gets its energy from sugar, the rest of sugar is stored as fat because your body cannot use it since dehydration has inhibited the production and release of insulin. What increased water intake will do for you is sharpen your senses and be more in tune with what your body needs.
Blood pressure – When you are dehydrated you experience a decrease in your blood volume. Since your body relies on constant (diastolic) pressure in order to move blood along it tightens its blood vessels to compensate for this loss in blood volume – hence you have high blood pressure.
Cholesterol – When we are dehydrated 66% of the total water loss comes from inside the cells. Cholesterol, a waxy substance, forms on the outside of the cell membranes to prevent further water loss. It is especially important for people with cholesterol to drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before meals. The blood is so concentrated and as it circulates through the blood vessels it robs water from the cells of arterial wall. In order to prevent your arterial wall from rupturing the cells amass cholesterol.
Immune system suppression – There are two major groups of immune cells – Helper cells and Suppressor cells. Helper cells ignite the immune response whereas suppressor cells inhibit the immune response. There are twice as many suppressor cells as there are helper cells. Suppressor cells are very sensitive to histamine.
Arthritis & Lower Back Pain – When you have limited water supply the body takes away water from “less important areas” like for one your joint capsules. The joint capsule and cartilage are mainly composed of water. As your body takes water out it lessens the ability to shock absorb. There comes a point when you have bone rubbing on bone – hence you have arthritis. Your vertebral discs support 3/4 of your body weight. So you can see why water loss there would lead to back pain.
Cancer – When you drink ample water it flows all throughout your body and particulary your cells. As water flows in and out your cells it washes out the acidic by products of cell metabolism. When you do not drink enough water the water in your body becomes stagnant and the acidic by products remain inside the cell. DNA in your nucleus is very sensitive to acidity. And if acid is left too long it will corrode the DNA. This transforms the cell to reproduce uncontrollably and without regard to barrier limitations.
Diabetes – Tryptophan regulates salt intake. It is salt that retains water inside our body. As explained earlier, dehydration depletes trytophan because it is used as an antioxidant. Since you no longer have trytophan to increase salt intake or salt retention your body uses sugar as a substitute to retain water. This can explain your cravings for sugar and refined carbohydrates. Furthermore, one of histamine’s assistant, prostaglandin E, if left in circulation for too long will inhibit your pancreatic cells from producing or secreting insulin. If this happens at an early age the damage can be irreversible and the person develops insulin dependent diabetes.
Heartburn – Unlike the stomach wall your small intestines does not have the same protective mucosal layer to neutralize the stomach acid. Your small intestines depends on the pancreas to secrete a watery bicarbonate solution (a mixture of bicarbonate and water) in order to neutralize the incoming acidic stomach contents. However when you are dehydrated the pancreas can only produce a limited amount of watery bicarbonate solution. Your body knows this and only allows into the small intestines from the stomach the specific amount of stomach contents that can be neutralized by the limited supply of watery bicarbonate solution. Therefore the remaining stomach contents that cannot be neutralized are left in the stomach.
Reflux – And remember the stomach wall is made up of 98% water and also mixes with bicarbonate to protect itself against stomach acid so when you are dehydrated you invite stomach acid to erode your stomach. At the same time when you are dehydrated the hiatus which is the opening between the esophagus and the stomach (which is closed tightly when food is not passing through) becomes lax. This allows the stomach contents to go into esophagus causing heart burn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) especially when you lie down. Drinking 2 cups of water 30 minutes before meals is especially important for people with this condition because it takes 30 minutes for water to be absorbed into your intestines and return back to your stomach to buffer the stomach wall.
What kind of water should you drink? How Pure Is Your Water?
Never drink tap water as it is loaded with toxic pollutants. Though it is recommended to get a water alkanizer they are very expensive. Getting a water distillation device is affordable and removes all pollutants. Though it also removes the water’s minerals you can always replenish them through supplements. Never reuse plastic bottles as over time the plastic will leach chemicals into your water or food. It’s better to use stainless steel bottles since they don’t leach chemicals.
OUR WATER TODAY
Contrary to the past, our recent developed technological society has become indifferent to this miracle of life. Our natural heritage (rivers, seas and oceans) has been exploited, mistreated and contaminated.
The population decline of the marine and riparian life, the appearance of green algae in the rivers and the stench and slime that comes as a result of putrefaction in the water, are clear signs of the depth and extent of disruption that has been caused to this intricate ecosystem (a composite Greek word: eco, home and systema, a combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole).
Government bodies and water authorities will have us believe that it is ‘safe’ and we should not worry about this global alarm. Awareness and action lies entirely upon us, as we need to become our own educators, physicians and innovators. Socrates had once said: “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Jesus took the role in your responsibility a step further: “seek, and you shall find……the truth shall set you free…” So questioning everything and anything that anyone tells you until it makes sense, is of uppemost importance. If it is the truth it will feel right, and set you free and lead you on the road of discovery and recovery.
Another important factor is the amount of water necessary for our body to function at its peak performance. Bearing in mind again that your body is about 75 percent water it is easy to understand that water must be your body’s most essential daily ingredient. Your body looses each day about 2-3 litters of water through elimination, urination, perspiration and respiration. However, this may increase during illness, high performance, exercise, pregnancy and nursing.
The beverages most people choose to consume are often counter-productive in promoting hydration. Coffee, tea, alcohol, soft and sugary drinks are all diuretics and will cause not only the loss of water the are dissolved in, but they will also draw water the bodies reserves. In normal conditions your body needs to replace the fluids it has lost throughout the day. Most of fluids should be replaced by drinking pure water. The rest you should get from fruit, vegetables and their juices.
Attention must be given that the elderly and children are meeting their daily requirements. Dry mouth is not the only indication of dehydration, in fact it is the last sign. You need to acquire the habit to drink water even when you think you don’t need it and eventually your true thirst mechanisms will be reawaken. Signs to look for that identify with dehydration are constipation, headaches, indigestion, weight gain, fluid retention, dark and pungent urine, and their associated pathologies colitis, kidney stones, bladder and urinary track infections to name only a few.
Water is involved in all bodily functions: digestion, assimilation, elimination, respiration, maintaining temperature (homeostasis) integrity and the strength of all bodily structures. Today, the water is polluted with hundreds of toxins and impurities. Authorities only test for a small number of them. Your body, being primarily water, requires sufficient daily water replacement in order to function efficiently.
Water treatments, that are aimed to render our drinking water bacteriologically safe, have been proven ineffective and the presence of certain pathogenic bacteria like giardia and cryptosporidium recently found in Sydney water is just one of the many examples. Viewing the effects of individual chemicals, inorganic minerals and their by-products, you can see a link to today’s major diseases. If you drink devitalised, impure water how can you expect vitality and health. Dehydration, due to the offensive taste of the water and the introduction of commercial sugar loaded beverages, has become another contributing factor to dis-ease.
The advice of Dr Batmanghelidj to stop treating thirst with medications holds lots of merit. Mineral water may be wonderful to bathe in, however, the presence of inorganic minerals makes it undesirable. Tap water has been proven unsuitable even for showering7. In an article published in the magazine New Scientist, by Ian Anderson 18/9/86, he writes “Showers pose a risk to health”. Pure water may become the medicine of the future.