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Our Need for WaterH20 Our need for Water image

"The human body is composed of approximately 70% water."  I'm sure you've heard that.  The body is not made of water, but salty fluid and electrolytes. 

This fluid is contained in the cells of the body (intracellular fluid), in the arteries and veins (blood plasma), and in the spaces between the blood vessels and cells (Interstitial fluid).  

Besides ridding the body of toxins, water helps to reduce sodium buildup in the body, relieve constipation, and maintain proper muscle tone.   Water helps maintain normal body temperature.   Be sure to get enough water if you are taking herbs or de-toxing. 

Water acts as a solvent for the vitamins and minerals we need everyday for our cells to do their jobs. 

Therefore, replacing the water that is continually being lost is very important.. While the body can survive without food for about five weeks, the body cannot survive without water for longer than five days. 

75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Instead of water they drink coffee, tea, soda, etc. which can actually dehydrate the body. 

Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 5%.

One glass of water shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.

Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue. (If you feel tired some morning, try drinking a glass of water.)  You should put electrolytes in the water such as lemon. 

Preliminary research indicates that enough water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers. 

A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

During a state of drought your body switches into its “water conservation” mode. One of the primary ways it ensures adequate hydration is by holding onto sodium. The result is sodium retention, followed by a rise in fluid levels — the precise mechanism involved in abnormal blood pressure

With more severe dehydration, your body is forced to get by on reduced fluid volume, so it compensates by temporarily closing down capillaries. While the brain and other vital organs continue to receive enough blood to meet their basic needs, some tissues must go without. As capillaries remain closed, the tissues they supply become starved of nutrients and bogged down with cellular wastes. Among the first areas affected are cartilage and synovial fluid, and the result is discomfort in the joints.

In addition, water-conserving chemicals are released. Chief among these is histamine, which reduces water loss, but at the same time may trigger respiratory problems. Prostaglandins and kinins are released as well, which can lead to a variety of discomforts. As you can see, too little water causes much more than thirst and a dry mouth — it parches your entire body.

If you’re only producing small quantities of dark, concentrated urine, you’re not drinking enough. (To ensure a good night’s sleep, try cutting back on fluids two or three hours before bedtime.)

Why aren’t the health benefits of water discussed more often?

Part of the answer is simply that water is free, so there’s little to be gained by advertising its benefits. Water can't be patented and owned by a company. Even though you can buy bottled water, most people don’t have to buy bottled water to have clean water to drink every day.  This is why you often don’t hear very much about the benefits of water.  For example, it is not well known that many headaches are caused by slight dehydration and can be alleviated by drinking water; instead, we are told to take aspirin or other (and more expensive) analgesics.  If you often get a headache after exertion or after crying, the water you drink to take the pill with may be doing as much to relieve the pain as the medicine is.

NOTE: I have had people tell me they do not like plain water. The effects are markedly cut down if one drinks juice or coffee, etc. Digestion comes to play, and the body works, and the water is mixed in with the digestive juices and the effect is lost.  It is recommended that you not drink your large quantities of water with meals. A huge quantity of water in the stomach with the food can dilute the digestive enzymes there and affect how easily the digestion occurs.

How much water?

This is the common thought: 

You should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. This theory says that as a rule of thumb, you should drink a half ounce of water for every pound of body weight, unless you're very active, in which case you should increase your water intake to two-thirds an ounce per pound of body weight daily.    

Thus, if you weigh 120 lbs., you need to take 60 oz. of water, or a little less than 2 quarts or 8 glasses of water.  If you are 210 lbs, you need to take 105 oz of water, or about 7 quarts or 13 glasses of water.   

8 oz = 1 regular glass of water
32 oz = one quart (4 glasses of water)
128 oz = one gallon (16 glasses of water)

Here is another viewpoint:

The Drink More Water Myth

Who came up with 8 glasses a day?   Here is an article plus a list of food that will give you water.   8 Glasses a Day?

Getting enough water

You should use the thirst mechanism as a gauge to judge hydration.  Straight water is not really hydrating. Too much water will flush electrolytes out of the body. If you take lemon with water, it fortifies it and will hydrate you. 

When the body begins to run low of any vital nutrient -- even water -- it will trigger hunger to motivate you to go get some more of whatever it needs. This is true for water because most foods provide some amount of water.  It can, however, provide many unneeded calories. 

You know when you’re thirsty. It is a Myth that you don’t know. Give a plant too much water and a plant dies. 

Balance Hydration - a help to get it here 

Dieting

Water is not closely connected to fat gain and loss.  Fat is not water soluble and thus water does not flush the fat out . See the above Drink More Water Myth 

"Research has also revealed that water in food eaten has a greater benefit in weight reduction than avoiding foods altogether. We should be telling people that beverages like tea and coffee contribute to a person's fluid needs and despite their caffeine content, do not lead to dehydration. We need to maintain fluid balance and should drink water, but also consider fluid in unprocessed fruits and vegetables and juices."  See the article on 8 Glasses a Day

Remember that low-calorie sodas cannot be substituted for water and in some cases can have a negative effect on dieting.  See our article on Soda

You also have to remember that the need for water can be aggravated by common substances that suppress thirst such as coffee, tea, alcohol and some drugs.  

Situations involving our need for water:

Dehydration:

We have to be careful of this in a lot of circumstances. When flying in an airplane, your body can become dehydrated. Make sure you drink a glass of water after being in the air. 

When you have the flu, you need to drink plenty of water to replace the fluids you lose through sweating and vomiting. 

Constipation is a sign of dehydrationr. Caffeine can also cause dehydration.  See Caffeine.

Sports & Exercise:

Several days before an event, competitive athletes should 'hyper-hydrate',   Hyper-hydration is the process of drinking plenty of water for two to three days before an athletic event. The body is about 60 percent water and it needs to be fully hydrated to perform optimally. When the outside temperature or humidity is especially high, the body requires even more water because it must work harder to cool itself.

Water retention:

Fluid retention can be caused by excess salt intake. Drink plenty of water to help flush out the salt. You also need potassium to balance out the salt/potassium ratio.  See article on Salt

Indigestion:

Water is also valuable as a digestive aid especially when combined with activated charcoal. This type of charcoal is available  Added to a glass of water, charcoal provides quick relief from most gastric discomfort. Mixed with enough water to form a paste, its great first aid for sprains and insect bites.

Bad Breath:

Drinking water and peppermint tea with a pinch of anise, caraway or cinnamon.

Gallstones:

Water is needed to flush the liver and dilute the bile. Without enough water the bile secretions can turn into gallstones.  For additional information see the article Gall bladder for this sort of problem

Kidney stones: 

Water helps decrease the concentration of the stone-forming elements in the urine.

Urinary tract infections:

People who get infections usually don't get enough water. The urine sits in the bladder too long and bacteria can build up. Drinking lots of water will flush out the bacteria. Drinking water won't cure an already established infection, but it can make urinating more comfortable and is a barrier to a recurrence. 

Gout: 

Drinking lots of water keeps urine dilute and promotes the excretion of uric acid. Gout is caused by the formation of sharp crystals of uric acid forming in the fluid of the joint. 

Obtaining quality water would seem to be an easy matter, however, there are different types of water.

Tap Water: 

Many people assume that when they turn on their kitchen tap, they are getting clean, safe, healthy drinking water. Unfortunately, that is often not the case. Regardless of the origin of the tap water, it is vulnerable to a number of different types of impurities. Leaching from pipes may give the water dangerous levels of cooper, iron, zinc and arsenic. Other undesirable substances found in water, include radon, fluoride, and cooper, and other heavy metals. Other contaminants, such as fertilizers, asbestos, cyanides, herbicides, pesticides and industrial chemicals may leach into ground water through the soil, or into any tap water from plumbing pipes. Although the body uses these minerals in trace amounts, it can not be used in this form. Other substances including chlorine, carbon, lime, phosphates, soda ash, and aluminum sulfate, are intentionally added to public water supplies to kill bacteria, adjust pH, and eliminate cloudiness, among other things. 

Strange smells or tastes in water that was previously fine could mean chemical contamination, however, many toxic hazards that work their way into the water do not change its taste, smell or appearance. 

Flouride, a common addition to our drinking water, is yet another enemy of magnesium., it can change it into an unusable compound that is rejected as a waste product. Ironically, this flouride is supposed to protect our teeth against decay, yet it results in loss of one of the very minerals our teeth need for the hard enamel that keeps them from decay. Much of our tap water is a chemical soup these days, so for more reasons than simply flouride content, drinking pure spring water might be a good idea. 

Chlorine used as a disinfectant to rid water of harmful bacteria, combines with naturally occurring organic matter to form trihalomethanes - compounds suspected of contributing to cancer. 

Impure Water: 

What is your drinking water like? IS it free of toxic metals like lead? Is its mineral content well balanced? Any mineral in excess, sodium for example, can cause illness when ingested over long periods of time. Impure water is an environmental stress of which you are often not even aware. Such stress can deplete your store of vitamin E. 

Water with aluminum in it has been thought to be linked to Alzheimer's disease, although this connection is still a controversial subject. This is another reason to drink pure water. Aluminum can be gotten from impure water, although drinking from aluminum cans and aluminum cookware might be a problem. It is felt that aluminum cans are coated with plastic to prevent the acid from the soda or juice from breaking down the aluminum. Sticking with glass or plastic containers is, however, an extra precaution.

Bottled water comes in many forms:

To meet the needs of a thirsty population, the variety of water products, from spring water to distilled to sparkling and flavored brands, is on the increase.  Bottled water can be classified by use - a basic drinking water or a specialty beverage; by its source - spring, well water, or public water supply; and by the presence of carbonation.    Read the labels of any bottled water you buy.  You may find that the bottle of "spring water" you bought actually came from a municipal water supply.

The United States FDA truth-in-labeling requirements are clear, nonetheless, some bottlers still make erroneous claims.

Bottled water is required to meet the same quality standards and purity standards as public drinking water.   FDA guidelines for imported waters require that the water be obtained from sources free of pollution, bottled under sanitary conditions, free from microorganisms.   Bottled water generally, but not always have fewer contaminants than tap water because of different purifying methods employed along with filtration and aeration.  Ozone is used in bottled water instead of chlorine as a disinfectant.  Unlike chlorine, ozone does not combine with organic material to form triholomethanes, nor does it have an aftertaste or odor that occurs with chlorine.

For health's sake, make sure that the water you drink is as pure as you can get.

For more information and testimonials on water's wonders go to Water Cure

Read:  Healing with Water by Giselle Roeder

Kneipp therapy is a form of hydrotherapy (water therapy) that is common in European spas. Also known as Kneipping or the Kneipp Cure, Kneipp therapy was created by Bavarian almoner and Dominican priest Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897). Kniepp is author of My Water Cure and So Sollt Ihr Leben (Thus Thou Shalt Live) and was one of the original founders of naturopathic medicine.  Naturopathic doctors focus on restoring health and preventing disease. (A naturopathic doctor will determine the specific factors that are causing your health problems and partner with you to develop an individualized program to address and eliminate the root causes of your health problems through the safest, most effective natural treatment available. Naturopathic doctors look at the whole person, not just the sickness. While various factors contribute to disease, many health conditions are not only treatable, but are completely avoidable.)

Learn the simple and effective techniques of Kneipp Hydrotherapy and how to use the health treatment successfully at home. The book also presents other element of Father Kneipp's whole-health, mind-and-body approach. Kneipp's whole-food nutrition philosophy is reflected in the recipe section of this book.   Go to Healing with Water

For help with the need to balance our bodies with a good hydration drink, go here.

For information on Natural  vitamins to take with this water Go here

 

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