Water - Does a Body GOOD!

Since our bodies our composed of approximately 70% water, and our brains are made up of nearly 85% water, it only makes sense that we need to be providing our minds and bodies all the water they need! Water is the second most important nutrient for life (next only to Oxygen). Water is absolutely necessary for our bodies to digest and absorb vitamins and minerals.  Water actually helps thin your blood (a dehydrated persons blood is actually thicker than a person consuming adequate water) and, as a result, helps your brain become more active. Water is also extremely important in maintaining a  healthy weight as the hunger that we often feel is often not the result of your body being hungry for food but is actually a craving for water instead!  We are much more susceptible to viruses when we are dehydrated.  Water also detoxifies the liver and kidneys.  And all of this is important because...

The simple fact is that most of us don't get enough water - either in our diets or through drinking plain, pure water (NO; pop, milk, coffee, tea, etc. don't count!  In fact, caffeinated beverages actually cause you to lose water and become dehydrated!). Most studies have found that we need at least 8-10  (8 oz.) glasses of water per day (regardless of body size). This is a base minimum! The Truth is that you may need a great deal more than that depending upon your weight and activity level. In order to get the proper amount for your body size, you should drink one glass of water per day for every 15 pounds of your body weight.  That means that a 150 Lb. person should be drinking 10 glasses per day (a 200 Lb. person should drink 13-14 glasses and so on). This may seem like a lot, but here are some reasons why you need this much.

Your body loses or sheds water at an incredible rate.  You will lose approximately 5 glasses of water per day in your urine alone.  Another 1/2 glass is lost through your stools.  At least two (2) glasses of water are lost through your breathing.  Another 2 glasses is lost through persperation (and you don't have to be wet with sweat in order to perspire - you perspire all the time).  That is 9 1/2 glasses of water per day that you are losing simply because you are alive and breathing.  It does not include that water you lose as the result of hard work, vigorous exercise, fevers, climate extremes, vomiting or diarrhia (when your sick), or simply because your overweight.  

You do get water from several sources (aside from drinking it) including the food you eat - and this additional water makes up the difference between what your body needs and eliminates and what you consume by drinking water.  This is why it is very important to eat a diet that is very high in high-water-content foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. An excellent way to guage whether or not you are eating enough high-water-content foods at every meal is to look at your plate!  Seventy percent (70%) of what is on your plate should be high-water-content foods.  In other words, fruits and vegatables.  Only 25-30% of your plate should be of a "concentrated"nature.  A concentrated food is simply anything that is not a fruit or a vegetable (i.e. meat, bread, pasta, rice, anything "refined", etc.).  Most of us eat a diet that is totally reversed from this standard -- we eat 70%+ of concentrated foods and less than 30% of high-water-content foods!  Do your best to make most of what you eat fruit and vegetables (high-water-content foods) and see for yourself if it doesn't make a big difference in how you feel and in how much better you think

It is important to note that thirst is not a good indicator of how much water you need to be drinking! Usually, by the time you are actually  thirsty, you are long overdue for the water your body is craving and you are already experiencing some level of dehydration. This is often accompanied by signs of dehydration such as a nagging headache at the base of your scull (ever have this problem?).  This doesn't mean that you shouldn't drink when your thirsty!  By all means drink then.  But don't depend on your thirst to bean accurate guide to your body's actual need  for water.  Drink good, clean, fresh water throughout your day, not just when you are thirsty.

Guidelines for Water Consumption 

There are proper times and ways to drink the water your body needs. For instance, it is a bad idea to drink with meals. Drinking with meals interferes with your digestion process, slowing it considerably, and can cause your food to ferment or spoil (that's a nice word for "rot") in your stomach before it ever gets moved into the rest of your digestive tract to absorb the vitamins and nutrients (which are now greatly depleted).  If you can at all help it, don't drink with meals. The rule of thumb is not to drink anything 1/2 hour before meals, or for 2 hours after a meal.  This allows your body to clear the excess liquid from your stomach before you eat and it allows your stomach to break down and begin digesting your food (before moving it into the duodenum, jejunum and the rest of the intestinal tract where most of the nutrition is absorbed from it).  Any liquids that are introduced, either immediately before, during or after a meal, interferes with the efficiency with which your body digests your food (note: this does not apply to water that is contained in your food as this water is a part of the whole food that you are consuming).  So don't drink with your meals (or do so very sparingly) and don't drink 1/2 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.  In case you are thinking that you will be extremely thirsty during your meal if you don't drink anything, remember that if you eat a meal high in high-water-content foods you will not be thirsty!

There are tremendous benefits to be gained by starting your day with water! Drinking two (2) glasses of warm water, immediately upon arising, not only provides your body with a much needed boost of water (remember that your body has been"need water) it also flushes the accumulated waste out of your system (this means that you will have a bowel movement fairly soon after drinking this water and this is a good thing in that it gets rid of the accumulated waste that your body has produced throughout the night).  Getting rid of this waste before you consume more food is beneficial and eases the burden on your system. All this will help give you a truly fresh start to your day and give a boost to your system as it gears up for a new day.  Be sure to end your day with water too! A glass 1/2 hour before retiring will help keep you from getting thirsty in the night and will help move things along as you body finishes processing the food from your evening meal. NEVER eat just before going to bed (see the section on "Diet" from the Health Essentials page)!


Water Tips in a Nutshell
1.  Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day minimum! Add 1 glass of water for every 15 pounds body weight over 120 pounds.
2.  Drink 2 glasses of water immediately upon arising (when you first get up).
3.  Drink plenty of water (it is almost impossible to drink too much!) throughout your day and more during times of high heat, physical exertion, and when you are sick.
4.  DON'T drink anything 1/2 hour before meals, and nothing for 2 hours after a meal.
5.  Be sureto eat meals primarily of high-water-content foods (Fruits and vegetables).



Water, Water, Everywhere and not a drop to Drink!

Is "Tap Water" safe? I know we would like to think it is - but is it? You are going to be surprised to hear what is in the water coming out of your tap!  The fact is that there are residuals of drugs (pharmaceuticals, and others) pouring out of your tap. Some of the drugs that are found in your water include:  caffeine, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, carbamazepine, cotinine, sulfamethozole, trimethoprim, azithromcin, erythromycin, tylozin, atenolol, naproxen,ciprofloxacin, ethinyl estradiol, codeine, and dehydronifedipine to name a few.  You may confirm this for yourself by checking out The Associated Press, March 10, 2008 Report on Drugs Found in Watersheds of 28 areas.  Granted, not all of these are present in the water where you live and all are found in very trace amounts, but you drink water from these sources (including many soft drinks, fruit juices [the ones with water added], tap water and drinking fountains, and in food that you eat that has been grown with municipal water) and the fact remains that current water treatment facilities simply cannot eliminate or filter out these substances (which are being excreted in human waste and dumped down the drain) and they are to be found in many municipal water supplies.  This is not the fault of the government or the result of negligence on the part of the Municipal Treatment Facilities.  It is simply a fact that they cannot treat all the water coming into your home in such a manner as to remove all of these things!  This is the reason why I try very hard  to avoid drinking from municipal water (public water) supplies. I choose to drink filtered water that effectively removes these things - and the added things in treated water such things as chlorine (bleach) and floride (common additives in many public water supplies).

Floride? Isn't floride good for your teeth?  It may very well be, but floride also has an interesting effect on your body - it causes it to store ALUMINUM. I will give you one guess where your body "stores" most of this aluminum.  That's right, the brain! And aluminum stored in the brain, in sufficient quantities has been implicated in the disease of Alzheimers. Another good reason for avoiding tap water for drinking purposes.  

In my oppinion,tap water in your home should probably be used only for cleaning and bathing purposes. Even when bathing, it is probably a good idea to use a showerfilter (available at most hardware stores) because you may actually absorb more water when bathing then you do by drinking a glass of water. Otherwise, and especially for drinking purposes, I would recommend buying a high quality water purification (or filtering) system. These systems don't need to be whole house systems. Nor do they have to be highly technical or complicated. You only need a system that will purify enough water for your drinking and cooking needs - there are some excellent systems out there that will do the job for a minimal investment.  

Distilled Water is not the best water to drink.  While it is better than ordinary tap water, distilling water does not do a very good job in removing synthetic chemicals or organic chemicals. This is because their relative boiling point is generally lower than that of water. Distillation works by boiling water and then re-condensing it (which is why it removes hard compounds such as minerals and calcium), but many of the chemicals in the water you distill are vaporized and re-condense right along with the water vapor (and the boiling process does not kill, remove, or neutralize these compounds). Because distillation removes minerals from water, people who drink only distilled water run the risk of mineral deficiencies. According to Dr. Paavo Airola, a cancer specialist; "long-term consumption of distilled water eventually results in multiple mineral deficiencies." Demineralized water is also more acidic (has a PH level below 7) which causes our bodies to pull minerals (and calcium) from our teeth and bones in order neutralize the acid and bring our body fluid back to a neutral PH level. Also, when the body's fluids are more acidic, the production of free radicals increases - increasing the risk of cancers.  Reverse Osmosis, like distillation, does not remove synthetic chemicals and does remove beneficial minerals (i.e. magnesium and calcium). Neither of these methods provide the best water for your body's use. So, while I would rather drink distilledwater or water that has undergone reverse osmosis (as compared with tap water) the evidence indicates that filtered water is a better bet - so long as the filtering process used is adequate to remove the majority of toxins and leaves in the minerals.  Filtered water also tastes better than either of the previous two methods, so you are more likelyto enjoy drinking it more and will be more likely to drink more of it! There is nothing more refreshing than a good tasting, pure glass of water.  Try it!  Discipline yourself to drink moreof it.  And see for yourself if you do not notice a host ofbenefits from drinking God's naturally blessed body fuel.  

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