As they say, April showers bring May flowers – so I thought it would be a good time to discuss the water we drink. I’ve mentioned a number of times that drinking plenty of good quality water is very important to our health. I’d like to look at that fact in more detail this month.
Did you know that the human body is about 70% water over all, and the brain is 90% water? Every cell in your body needs water! Water contributes to almost every aspect of a person’s health.
- transports nutrients and oxygen into cells
- moisturizes the air in lungs
- helps with metabolism
- protects our vital organs
- regulates body temperature
- protects and moisturizes our joints.
Harmful effects of dehydration include:
- muscle cramps
- irregular blood pressure
- kidney problems
- dry skin
- 20% dehydration means risk of death.
Symptoms of dehydration
- dark urine – dark yellow or orange in colour. Urine is generally pale yellow to clear when you have adequate water intake.
- dry skin – skin is the largest body organ and requires its share of water
- thirst – if you’re thirsty you’re likely already dehydrated – don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water
- hunger – hunger may be a sign of dehydration, not the need to eat – drink a glass of water before you eat
- fatigue – water is a source of energy – if you’re tired, have a drink of water
- indigestion/heartburn – try water instead of antacids for resolving digestive problems – it will likely take 3 glasses.
As you use your muscles, you are constantly using water. Breathing uses water – between 2 and 4 cups a day – think of how frost accumulates on a scarf over your mouth on a cold winter day. Of course sweating/perspiring requires water. And we eliminate water as urine, and in feces. Thus it constantly needs to be replaced.
If you drink a lot of coffee or other caffeinated drinks, they actually cause dehydration. You need to compensate with water. The same is true of alcoholic drinks.
How Much To Drink?
I recommend that you drink eight
8 ounce glasses of water per day
, or about 2 litres. The exact amount your body needs is your body weight in pounds divided by 2, in ounces, so you can see you may need more. This sounds like a lot, but if you sip water while you’re at work, for example, you can drink quite a bit of your daily requirement that way. It’s also a good idea to have a glass of water before each meal to give you a feeling of fullness. This will help you control how much you eat.
In a word,
As mentioned, caffeinated drinks cause dehydration. Soft drinks or sodas have added sugars or artificial sweeteners that are unhealthy. In particular, colas, the most commonly consumed soft drink, contain phosphoric acid which has been linked with increased risk of osteoporosis in women. One glass of fruit juice a day is recommended which does not contribute much toward your daily total. Commercially prepared vegetable juices usually contain a lot of salt, not a healthy option.
There are so many options – different ways to filter or otherwise process water, not to mention all the different types of bottled water. The bottom line is that your body needs water, and if all you have available is tap water, that’s OK. It might not taste as good, and if you can filter out the chlorine, that is helpful. But to maintain your health, the main concern is that you get enough water that does not carry disease-causing bacteria. If you decide to avoid straight tap water, filtered tap water is the simplest alternative – you avoid carrying water bottles or jugs constantly, and trying to figure out which bottled water is ‘best. ’It’s also better for the environment – minimal waste (occasional used filters) and no recycling necessary, or worse, throwing bottles in the garbage. Water can also be distilled if desired – water is boiled and the steam condenses to form pure water with no added minerals or other chemicals – a water distiller is required. Depending on your budget, there are many top of the range filters. If you would like more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drinking water helps the immune system function optimally, so you will be less likely to get sick. Lemon water is helpful for a number of ailments such as intestinal problems, arthritis, respiratory diseases.
Feel more energetic
: Water is used to flush out toxins and waste products from the body. Without enough water, a number of organs, such as the heart, have to work harder, which causes fatigue. With enough water, you’ll feel more energetic, particularly when you exercise. Water regulates your body temperature.
As mentioned, your brain is 90% water. Therefore it needs water to enable you to think more clearly, be more alert and to concentrate.
Improve your mood:
Drinking enough water helps you function better both physically and mentally – this is bound to
improve your mood!
Drinking water helps flush away the by-products of fat breakdown. It also helps to reduce hunger, so you’ll eat less. Of course, it has zero calories which is a big plus.
Natural remedy for headache and back pain:
Drinking water helps to relieve headache and back pain due to dehydration, although this may not be the only reason for these ailments.
You’ll look younger when your skin is properly hydrated. Water improves the health of the skin, not just its appearance by replenishing tissues and increasing skin elasticity. Wrinkles are visibly reduced.
Aid digestion, avoid constipation:
Water is important for good digestion, and necessary for avoiding constipation (see Newsletter, July 2009).
Fewer muscle cramps and sprains:Good hydration helps keep your muscles and joints functioning well so you’ll have fewer cramps and sprains.
A glass of water before each meal is recommended and also a glass about 2 hours after each meal, as well as first thing in the morning and at bedtime. Spacing your water throughout the day at fairly even intervals will best help prevent dehydration. It can take your body a few weeks to adjust to adequate hydration – don’t expect all your problems due to dehydration to be solved in just a day or two.
It is believed that drinking enough water on a daily basis can prevent and even cure many chronic diseases, in combination with a healthy, balanced diet and sufficient exercise, e. g. walking an hour a day. For more information, please see www. watercure. com as well as reference 3. Daily, adequate hydration is one of the most important things you can do to prevent disease and maintain good health. I hope you will take this advice to heart, and make water an important part of your everyday life. For additional information, please email ramila@ramilas. com; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613. 829. 0427 for an appointment. Please continue sharing our newsletters with friends and family.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.
- Benefits of drinking water. - http://www. nutritionfriend. com/Benefits-of-Drinking-Water/I11. htm. Accessed March 1, 2010.
- Top 11 Benefits of Drinking Water. - http://www. mangosteen-natural-remedies. com/benefits-of-drinking-water. htmlAccessed March 1, 2010.
- Your Body’s Many Cries for Water. - Batmanghelidj F. Falls Church, VA: Global Health Solutions, Inc. , 1999.
- Water for Health: Essential information for improved wellbeing. - http://www. water-for-health. com/benefits-of-drinking-water. htmAccessed March 1, 2010.
- Cola may up osteoporosis risk for older women. - Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2007;24(9):1-2.
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.
Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic