The water connection

February 27, 2012

Diet, Health

Water is essential to every function of the body. Water is the avenue through which nutrients and wastes travel

by Karen Langston — 

Water — we bathe in it, swim in it, get some of our food from it and, most importantly, drink it. Seventy percent of our beautiful planet is comprised of water. We literally cannot live without it; in fact, we cannot live more than one week without it.

We love water. It is our most primal and restorative commodity and is a healing, comforting and spiritual energy drink. We are drawn to oceans for clarity, and we bathe in hot springs to alleviate illness and restore health. We play in water, traveling great distances to spend our leisure time around it. We build homes near water and will pay significantly more to gaze out a window that overlooks its beauty.

Despite our appreciation of the benefits and abundance of water in our world, many of us are dehydrated and do not even realize it. According to Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, author of Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, the body is 25 percent solid matter, but the rest is water. Up to 85 percent of brain tissue and muscle is water; the liver is 82 percent water; and the bones are 22 percent water.

An insufficient intake of water leads to health problems. A mere five percent drop in the body’s water levels can cause up to a 30 percent loss of energy. Mild dehydration can cause metabolism to slow down by three percent, and a two percent drop in fluid levels can cause fuzzy short-term memory. A 15 percent drop in our fluids is enough to cause death.

Water is essential to every function of the body. Water is the avenue through which nutrients and wastes travel. Our kidneys require it in abundance, and it is necessary for elimination. The body uses water to pump blood throughout our arteries. Water allows chemical messengers to communicate and enables fluids to carry electrical charges for cell communication. Our fluids transport nutrients from our food throughout the body and cause our hormones to function properly.

Water also removes metabolic wastes, toxins and free radicals from the body by binding them to molecules within the fluid. Water regulates temperature, keeps platelets from sticking, insulates and cushions our organs and glands from physical blows, and lubricates our joints and bones. Essentially, water allows our body to repair, restore and heal itself.

If proper hydration actually aids in wellness, why do we so often find ourselves in a state of dehydration? Might we have an emotional connection to water? Masaru Emoto, a Japanese researcher, has spent his life drawing connections between the emotional energy of water and our physical well-being. Photographing and analyzing frozen water crystals helped him prove that negative energy affects our chemical makeup and, similarly, a simple prayer for healing can physically manipulate one’s metabolic structure to be healthier and more vital.

When we are dehydrated, we often experience the subconscious internal conflict of feeling “high and dry.” Perhaps our aversion to water (or liquids in general) can be attributed to lifelong feelings of imminent calamity, stemming from a childhood perception of a dysfunctional family unit. Could an unstable family environment have left us feeling as though we do not have what it takes to handle a situation, making us much like that fish out of water?

When the body is dehydrated, certain capillaries close to allow other organs to continue functioning optimally, thus reserving fluid. A reduction in fluid causes arteries to shrink to avoid air pockets, meaning that blood pressure must increase to push through the area. Limited fluid also means that blood thickens, resulting in increased blood pressure to move the thickened fluid along.

Meanwhile, your body sends out many thirst signals. Sometimes we interpret thirst as a desire for cola, coffee or tea. However, caffeine drinks are diuretics, meaning they increase urine flow and further dehydrate the body. Feeling that its thirst signals have been ignored, your body sends out stronger messages: fuzzy concentration, lethargy, headache and a general feeling of unwellness, which we often treat with over-the-counter medications. Tuning in to your body’s signals would help you hear its actual message: “I need water!”

How much water should you drink? Most experts suggest that the average person consume six to eight glasses of water daily. This average is based on a 150-pound male. Remember, we need high fluid volumes to pump blood through our arteries. So if you are significantly more that 150 pounds, six to eight glasses of water probably are not enough. Likewise, if you weigh less, you will need less water on a daily basis.

Ideally, the amount of water you should consume is based on your body weight. Take your body weight (in pounds) and divide by two. This represents the number of ounces you require for daily maintenance. So using that 150-pound person as an example: 150 pounds ÷ 2 = 75 ounces or 75 ÷ 8 = 9.4 eight-ounce glasses per of water per day.

This daily water calculation is based on maintenance. During summer months, especially in parts of Arizona and other desert regions where temperatures can soar, we require even more water. Experts say, at the bare minimum, an additional 38 ounces per day for everyone is optimal.

While exercising, you will want to add eight ounces before and after every hour of exercise. Additionally, for every eight-ounce caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you consume, you should add an additional eight-ounce glass of water. Pregnant and nursing women require more water, as well.

You may be thinking that water is boring and there’s no taste, so spike your water with slices of lemon, lime or orange. The combination of water and lemon actually helps maintain your pH balance, cleanses your blood, kick-starts digestion and detoxifies your liver. You can also try adding crushed fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary or lemon grass, or frozen fruit like blueberries, strawberries, kiwi or watermelon. Be creative.

Water is crucial to every physical and emotional function on a daily basis. So drink up and stay hydrated.

 

Karen Langston is an extreme nutritionist and chief body reorganizer who helps her clients get to the nutritional root of their health and fitness issues. Karen@IamWorthit2.com, 623-252-HEAL (4325), or www.IamWorthit2.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2010.

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