Water is like breath: it is so entrenched in your human constitution that it is easy to underestimate or forget about the important value it gives to life.
You have probably experienced in your life a scenario where you had "The solution under your nose!", but strangely enough you could not notice it. This metaphor mirrors water's ability and possibilities it can manifest if we pay enough attention to it (just like breath). This article evaluates the physical properties of water and it will be followed by another article explaining the metaphysical aspects.
Are you ready to dive into the water's realms? Get ready to be blown away!. Grab a glass of water and read along.
Did you know that more than half of your body's weight is water: The average adult contains 40-48 liters of water (around 68% of total body weight):
The eyes are 95% water - The lungs are 86% water - The blood and kidneys are 85% water - The heart, the muscles and the brain are 75% water - The bones 22% water. By being a composite of all body parts, water is key for their correct functioning!.
Water is an essential part of Nutritional Therapy, and that is why I recommend all my clients to pay the same attention they give on food to proper hydration also.
The physical health benefits of water:
-Water help convert food into energy
-Water helps to absorb and transport nutrients to cells
-Water carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
-Water assist in removing waste from the body
-Water helps the body to power brain function
-Water maintain normal electrical properties of cells
-Water cushions and lubricates joints and vital organs
-Water improve cell communication
-Water moisten oxygen for breathing
-Water regulates body temperature
Just a 2% (three cups) drop in water, from the 68%, causes early symptoms of dehydration such as:
-Anxiety and irritability
-General weakness and fatigue
-Lack of appetite and lack of thirst, or dry mouth and extreme thirst
... Less obvious symptoms at this stage are:
- A decrease in metabolism which can lead to weight gain and chronic fatigue
-Joint and back pain and also depression
When dehydration becomes a way of life maintained over an extended period of time symptoms of Chronic Dehydration can result such as:
-Old age diabetes
-Chronic depression and chronic exhaustion
So many complications are related to dehydration alone, how is that possible?. One explanation of course is that more than 50% of the body's weight is water, but It makes even more sense when you consider that if mild to moderate dehydration is present:
-The body cannot properly eliminate waste matter
-The flow of necessary nutrients and other substances to cell is disrupted
-Enzymes slow their working rhythm, leading to acidosis
-The body cannot regulate the balance of minerals, and cannot regulate the transportation of nutrient and hormones in the body, resulting in disrupted body processes
-The bowel become constipated
-The skin cannot sweat; skin become dry, and will age rapidly
-The respiratory system becomes dry, affecting oxygen levels to cells
-Kidney are less able to eliminate strong acids and unwanted waste materials
-The inner lining of the bladder can become damaged
-The lymphatic system becomes sluggish
-Cells, organs and joint loose their comfortable cushioning
-Water is likely to be retained in body tissue causing water retention
-Hormones are unable to work properly causing a wide range pf lowered body function, along with PMS, irritability, erratic testosterone “surges”, and lack of joy in day to day life
-Brain function is impaired
Notice: Everyone will react differently from dehydration based on their organs and systemic strengths and weaknesses as well as their lifestyle habits.
How much water do you need to drink?
A general rule of thumb is 30 ml for each Kg of body weight. If you weight 70Kg 2.1litres is what you need, if you weight 50Kg is 1.5litres, and so on. But due to the innate physiological and biochemical importance of water, increase this amount if:
1.You live in a hot climate: water in the body helps to regulate body temperature and we loose water through perspiration via the skin.
2.You exercise: Water lost in sweat during physical training need to be replaced, and remember that muscles are 75% water. Also, drinking plenty of water is beneficial for joints, ligaments and tendons.
3.You work indoor: keep yourself hydrated when you spend many hours indoor in an environment with air conditioning and artificial light. This helps to optimise oxygen levels in the body and support our eyes from artificial lighting. Water is lovely to power brain function and maintain good energy levels.
4.You live in a high altitude or in a desert landscape: in both scenarios especially the respiratory system and circulatory system need more water to properly manage oxygen levels. Do you remember how much water content is in the lungs and the blood?... More than 80%.
5.You are ill: water is essential for a healthy immune response
6.You are dehydrated: this is obvious, but if you are dehydrated we need more water.
Note: when you start increasing your daily water intake you can experience a feel ing of bloating and "puffy" generally speaking. Do not worry, the body needs some time to adjust, and after a few weeks or in certain cases a month also, this symptoms disappear.
Strategies for drinking more water
-Drink before you are thirsty: many people do not have the sensation of thirst fully developed and they misinterpret the feeling of thirst to that of hunger, causing the individual to eat every hour. Also, dehydration often causes a lack of thirst in the first place.
-Keep pure water on hand: Put a water bottle in your room, one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, one in the car, one on your desk and one in your bag. This will inevitably remember you to drink and is of great help when starting to sharpen your awareness towards your water intake. Drinking from beautiful glasses, jugs, and bottles encourage you to drink more as well.
-Begin your day with one or two glasses of water: this will help to gently wake the whole body, and activate your digestive system.
-Drink a glass of water 20 minutes before each meal: by doing so, stomach function is aided and overall digestion improved.
-If you don’t like water, drink herbal teas
-Water should be either room temperature or warmer: this is better for your digestion. When you drink cold or freezing drinks, sip slowly and make sure you warm the liquid in the mouth before swallowing.
-Drink one glass of water before a bath or shower, and while bathing: this will counteract the water lost during perspiration through the skin.
-For each diuretic drink you consume, drink an equivalent of pure water: this is an excellent way to counteract the dehydrating effect of the diuretic drink. This intake of water will not count on your ideal water intake.
Quality of water
There are 75.000 chemical compounds in our water supply:
Industrial waste, pesticides, municipal sewage, fertiliser, gasoline and MTBE, chlorine and chloramines, hydrocarbons, fluoride, birth control pills, antibiotics, heart medications, pain killers, anti-depressants, hormone replacement, sex hormones, perfumes, lead solder, dioxin, heavy metals, vinyl chloride from PVC.
What water is the best water to drink?
Any water that does not contain the contaminants just mentioned!.
•Fruits and vegetables: By filtering their own water system, most raw fruit and vegetables are between 75% to 90% water. By eating more raw fruits and veggies you not only supply the body with healthy nutrients, but you also provide it with plenty of pure water.
•Distilled water: Water completely clear of all contaminants and "information". I suggest to structure distilled water with the addition of a pinch of pink salt (1/4 tsp per 4 litre of distilled water), or ionic mineral mix. When water is structured is better assimilated. Distilling water is easy and gives one control over quality and quantity of minerals.
•Purified water: The focus of water purification filtration system is to remove impurities, such as Chlorine, Fluoride, Parasites, Nitrates, Dioxins, Lead, Copper, Aluminum, Pesticides, Antibiotics, and Prescription drugs.
•Reverse Osmosis: the end product is similar to what distillation produces; Impure water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane, creating the most efficient method of large scale water purification available. Reverse Osmosis creates demineralised water like distillation, so it is necessary to structure and re-mineralise the water.
•Granular activated carbon filtration: A form of activated carbon filter absorbs many compounds, including toxic compounds. Many carbon filtration systems contain silver (as metallic silver nanoparticles) and micro-organisms can grow inside of the carbon block, contaminating the water. It is necessary to follow the manufacturers guidelines regarding timely replacement of carbon filters.
•Organic Spring Water: Bottled from the right source and freshly delivered, organic spring water can be so delicious you would naturally be inspired to drink more. The problem with bottled water, aside from unethical companies that sell impure water at high prices, is the bottles. If using bottled water, it is important to find a high-quality source that can deliver in 20litres glass containers that are reused by the company that distributes your water.
If there is something you can do to improve your health and wellbeing is to make sure you are well hydrated: as you can see it does play a role in pretty much every aspect of the body's correct functioning.
I hope this little article made you a bit thirstier!. This is a little guide you can always come back to: remember not to go to the other extreme, which is over-drinking. Calculate the amount of water you need by tacking into account the guidelines above and then increase according to your lifestyle and environmental conditions. Balance is key, and water can be very well the lock.