Water is without doubt THE most important nutrient available to us....and one of the most frequently deficient!
Water bathes all your cells, it gives then the rigidity to form structures; enables the transport of other nutrients; dissolves both nutrients and waste; provides mechanisms for controlling heating and cooling.
Yet, many people are do dehydrated (lack of water) that they are ill as a consequence. in his important book, Your "Body's Many Cries for Water", Dr F Bathmanghelidj reports how many "diseases" can be attributed to chronic dehydration and how treatment with drinking water, our most important nutrient, can resolve them completely.
When we don't drink enough, our tissues and cells start to sag and become limp - think of how a balloon appears after losing some of its air and you'll have the right idea. This not only means that they lose their structural strength, it may also mean that they can't function properly and may even stop functioning altogether.
It is in this way that most cases of back pain can be successfully treated using drinking water - the pillow-like "discs" between the backbones become dehydrated and shrivel, allowing the bones to rub against each other and the tissues in-between, causing pain, swelling and discomfort. Just "re-inflating" the discs with ample water can be enough to totally reverse the process.
So it is with many other diseases of water loss. Electrolytes can't be transported properly, nutrients and waste don't go where they are supposed to or are left to build-up, heat-loss becomes difficult and cell function reduces. Left unchecked, this situation would quickly lead to coma and death.
Fortunately, we have defense mechanisms to protect against this scenario. The thirst reflex is intended to let us know when we need to drink. In babies, it is in excellent form and they regularly let us know when they are thirsty.
However, as we go through life nowadays, we start replacing our water intake with sodas, coffee, tea, alcohol, squash and fruit juices. The fact is that these contain other substances that reduce our water absorption, retention and increase excretion. In the case of alcohol and caffeinated drinks (many sodas, tea and coffee), these actively stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, causing further water-loss.
In fact, in many people nowadays, the body has become so chronically dehydrated that it has given up, and the thirst reflex just doesn't work any more. It never gets a response and so "switches off" until the body reaches a critical state of severe dehydration and water loss, only kicking in as a last gasp effort to maintain life - that is what most of us call "thirst".
In contrast, when people who have chronically low water intake feel they are "hungry", they are probably only thirsty! The thirst reflex is now so poorly effective that it tries to stimulate water intake in any way it can. Water taken in as solid food (any foods are over 50% water) is better than none at all! If only we would drink water instead of eating, we would not only consume less (and therefore have less weight problems), we would also be a lot healthier.
So what can we do about this problem?
In most cases, it is simple. Drink clean, unadulterated (and free from chemical additives like chlorine and flurine) water. In most cases (and here, we speak from personal experience) after a day or two of consuming two to two and a half liters of water a day, the thirst reflex will suddenly switch itself back on and you will feel thirsty continually until you have supplied the water your body needs - on average around 3-4 liters a day for a woman and 4-5 liters for a man. (in hotter climates, more may be necessary)
That is not to say you can do this overnight - most people need to start adding about a glass a day to their water intake until they achieve an appropriate amount or their body responds by stopping to feel thirsty.
The health benefits of drinking more water are immense.
- You will have more energy
- You will "feel" better
- Many chronic health problems will just "go away"
- You will flush out more toxins, contributing to long-term health
- Your immune system will benefit, enabling you to "fight off"
more bugs and illnesses
- "Hangovers" will become a thing of the past! (most people get hangovers because they START drinking whilst already dehydrated!)
Doesn't this sound like a significant change in your life? You bet!
What's that? You're worried about peeing all the time? So what! Urine takes lots of toxins with it and is a major cleansing system for the body. In fact, if your urine is anything except almost clear and VERY pale yellow, you ARE already dehydrated and need to drink more water. This is a small price to pay for the health benefits you WILL receive.
Remember, your daily water intake should be IN ADDITION TO any sodas, beers, squash, fruit juice or tea and coffee you drink.
If your water is chlorinated and/or has added fluoride, you MUST filter it to remove these poisons. fluride serves no purpose and is only there so the paper mills and aluminum smelters don't have to pay for getting rid of their waste! Chlorine is there to kill bugs in the pipes, and, once it has reached you, serves no useful purpose. To get rid of it, leave a jug of water in the fridge and it will evaporate.
Even better, get a water filter - either a simple jug-type or an expensive, but worthwhile whole-house system. These will remove all of the unwanted chemicals from your water and leave you with pure, sweet, drinkable water. You can even get a shower filter or a sports water-bottle with built-in filter now, so you can refill it anywhere and get the benefits of filtered water as if you were at home.
In fact, showering is the equivalent of drinking several galsses of water, so you should seriously consider installing a shower water filter if you live in an area with poor water (which, these days, is most of us, unfortunately).
Water is not only the most important nutrient, it is also the cheapest, so how anyone could allow themselves to become dehydrated the way we do is not only incredible, it is a major cause for concern. You owe it to yourself to make sure you and your family are properly hydrated - every day!
Back from water to nutritional supplements
Transforming your health in 90 day or less
Your body's many cries for water